The Board of Directors of Pakistan-France Business Alliance under the leadership of the Chairman/CEO Mr. Jamil Hamdani hosted the 2nd Trade Performance Award ceremony on November 18, 2016 at a local hotel in Karachi.
The PFBA Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan-France Business Alliance Her Excellency Mme Martine DORANCE, the Ambassador of France to Pakistan was the Chief Guest at the occasion. The Consul General of France Mr. Francois DALL'ORSO and the recently assigned Head of the French Economic Department Mr. Philippe FOUET graced the event with their presence.The Principal Sponsors of this year's award ceremony was Sind Medical Stores with Infotel Pakistan and Himont Pharmaceuticals as the Lead Sponsors, Total Parco as co-sponsors and Tarseel Private Limited, Grand Parent Poultry and MAS Associates supported the event.
Mr. Jamil Hamdani in his address spoke of the law and order situation, the economy of the country and the economic performance of the government. The Chairman/CEO shared the news that Hyperstar - a joint venture between French multinational retailers Carrefour and Majid Al Futtaim Group of the United Arab Emirates will be opening three more shopping malls in Pakistan.
The Chairman/CEO also described the expected entry of the French carmaker Renault and said that if it materializes, it will encourage other French and European multinationals to prospect opportunities in Pakistan in other promising sectors such as renewable energy, agro-food, and transport.
The Chairman went on to say that the overall trade performance of the country for the last two fiscal years was not very encouraging as Pakistan's exports fell by 8.6% year-on-year in 2015-16, the weakest performance in the last eight years and the French exports to Pakistan dropped 10.7% last year while Pakistan exports to that country came down by 14.7%.
The Chairman/CEO made a particular mention to the continued cooperation between PFBA and the French External Trade and investment Agency, BUSINESS FRANCE and said that the Business Support Office of PFBA works in close collaboration with Business France for identifying business opportunities for French companies in Pakistan.
The Chairman/CEO congratulated the award recipients in the various categories and said their untiring effort in promoting bilateral trade was an example to be emulated by the business community in general and other PFBA member companies in particular.
The Chief Guest the Ambassador of France to Pakistan H.E. Mme Martine DORANCE said in her address that the first figures available for 2016 show a growing trend in trade with a 23% growth in French exports to Pakistan and a 5pc increase in Pakistani exports to France.
H.E. Mme Dorance remained confident about the future of trade relationship between the two countries and mentioned some major contracts have been awarded to French companies, mainly in the sectors of power generation.
Her Excellency stated that French equipment will be supplied next year to major power plants - in Mangla, Haveli and Balloki - as well as to Engro Powergen coal plant.
H.E. Mme DORANCE also informed the members and guests that the French Development Agency (AFD) intends to significantly increase the amount of its commitments to Pakistan from a yearly average of 50m euros to 150m-200m euros by diversifying the sectors that it is financing, including power generation and transmission, water and sanitation and budget assistance.
The Ambassador spoke of the Finance Minister of Pakistan Mr. Ishaq Dar's recent visit to France and the decision that the Pakistan-France Administrative, Economic and Trade Committee would be upgraded to a Joint Ministerial Commission which she said was, "a clear sign of our mutual interest in developing economic relations".
The newly appointed Head of the French Economic Department Mr. Philippe FOUET also spoke briefly to the members and guests.