ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday urged businessmen of Northern Europe and the North Atlantic region (Nordic countries) to make investments in various sectors in Pakistan, especially in infrastructure.
Addressing the Nordic-Pakistan Business Summit, the minister said, “Pakistan’s economy has stabilised, we have begun to tackle the energy crisis and can foresee that Pakistan will have sufficient energy by 2018 to meet its needs.”
“Forums like this have begun to take place in Pakistan and we are getting reconnected to the world,” he said. A business delegation comprising representatives of over 40 companies from Nordic countries attended the event.
This is the third such summit – the earlier two were held as ‘Finland-Pakistan Business Summit’ in 2014 and 2015. “This year’s business summit was one of the biggest business promotion events ever done in Pakistan,” said Wille Eerola, chairman of the summit.
“The idea was not just to take companies from countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway or Iceland to Pakistan but also to give Pakistani companies the opportunity to enter the very lucrative Nordic market,” Mr Eerola said.
He said both sides have the same challenge: Nordic companies did not understand the dynamics and opportunities of the Pakistani market, while the Pakistani companies did not understand the purchasing power of the Common Nordic Market – with only 26 million people and way more purchasing power than India.
“Pakistan needs to start to market itself”, he suggested. “Unfortunately after Lahore attack – travel advisories forbade travel but we still have a hall full of foreigners and Pakistanis,” he added.
Co-Chairman of the Nordic-Pakistan Business Summit Hassan Raza said the Nordic region did not understand the scale of Pakistan’s economy.
“They have technology and expertise. We need it. These summits offer opportunities to make connections, find business opportunities,” he remarked.
“I’ve been ambassador for 4 years in Pakistan and I have been following the country for 10 years. What you hear in Europe is not good, but when you come here it is very different,” Ambassador of Finland Rauli Suikkanen said.
The summit discussed businesses in sustainable energy, education and healthcare sectors – three of the many areas where experience and knowledge of the Nordic companies can benefit Pakistan.
Courtesy : Dawn News