KARACHI (PR): Pak-UK Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) organised a Partnership Collaboration Agreement Signing Ceremony with Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce (GMCC) – which has over 5000 registered British Businesses based out of Greater Manchester region of the UK.

The high-level understanding between the two sides is indeed a formal agreement; which also happens to be first of its kind. The historic agreement mandates enhancement of business partnerships; increase in bilateral trade; mutually beneficial corporate engagements; modernising trade marketing practices, and accelerating the pace of bilateral investments and new ventures.

Gracing the virtual meeting, Chairman of Pak-UK Business Council, Mr. Imran Khalil Naseer,  briefed the participants on the benefits and merits of FPCCI signing the agreement with GMCC; and the commencement of joint events between businesses on both sides. The first such event would be held in May 2021 – aimed at exploring the opportunities and avenues present in Pakistan for British businesses. GMCC will also organise reciprocal events and meetings.

Addressing the historic meeting, the president of FPCCI, Mr. Nasser Hyatt Maggo, expressed his earnest desire and resolve to strengthen business and trade relationships between Pakistan and the UK through such decisive and transformational agreements and collaborative endeavours.

The event was also attended by Mr. Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi & the Trade Director for Pakistan; along with Mr. Gufran Abbas Naqvi and other team members from Department of International Trade (DIT). Addressing the esteemed gathering, Mr. Mike Nithavrianakis said that “This partnership agreement between FPCCI and GMCC is testament to the strong bilateral trade relationship between Pakistan and the UK. It will enable businesses from both countries to explore trade & investment opportunities, engage with each other more frequently through visits and webinars, and raise the profiles of the many thousands of companies in both regions.  I am excited at the prospects and potential that this partnership will help unlock.”

Mr. Clive Memmott, CEO – GMCC, spoke about the significance of the agreement and why GMCC preferred signing a Partnership Collaboration Agreement with FPCCI instead of an MoU. He mentioned that an agreement would swiftly deliver tangible support and assistance to businesses in Pakistan and the Greater Manchester region.

Mr Tariq Wazir, Consul General, Consulate of Pakistan in Manchester was excited to see the formal signing, which will bring the businesses together. Mr. Muhammad Akhtar, Trade & Investment Attaché, Consulate General of Pakistan in Manchester also attended the session. Mr. Shafiq A Shahzad, Trade & Investment Minister, Pakistan High Commission London, offered full support of Pakistan High Commission to the business community to fulfil the full potential of the agreement.

The event was also virtually attended by businesses from Greater Manchester and North East regions of the UK, Members of DIT (UK), Greater Manchester Combined Local Authority officials, members of Manchester Inward Investment Agency (MIDAS), Business Growth Hub, CEO of Pak-Britain Business Council, members of SME Centre of Excellence (UK), directors of Pak-UK Business Council (FPCCI), and members of KBC (FPCCI).

Mr. Ammar Mirza, Chairman of SME Centre of Excellence, briefed the audience on the pivotal role being played by SME Centre of Excellence to support North East region’s SME businesses, who would also be eager to explore opportunities with businesses in Pakistan through FPCCI.

Concluding the session, Mr. Athar Sultan Chawla, Vice President FPCCI, highlighted FPCCI’s leading role in development and consolidation of Pak-UK business and trade relations. He also emphasised the ever-increasing need for business and trade tourism and marketing events after the COVID-related restrictions are effectively lifted.

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