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PAKISTAN-FRANCE BUSINESS ALLIANCE - 2ND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The second Annual General Meeting of Pakistan- France Business Alliance (PFBA) was held on 5 April 2016 at a local hotel in Karachi.

The Chief Guest at this occasion was the PFBA Patron-in-Chief Her Excellency Mme Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France in Pakistan.

Mr. Eric NOITAKIS the Head of the French Economic Department in Pakistan and the French Consul General Mr. Francois DALL"ORSO were also present at the occasion.
Mr. Thibaut Fabre, Director South Asia of the French Agency for External trade, Business France, and Mr. Dominique Frachon, in charge South Asia of Invest in France agency participated as special guests.

The financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2015 audited by the reputed Haroon Zakaria & Company were presented to the members by the PFBA Director Finance Mr. Riaz Siddiqui.

Following the financial report, Mr. Jamil Hamdani, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PFBA gave a brief overview of the economy and the general situation of the country. According to the Chairman, since the last AGM in 2015 the country has undergone a defining period.  The government and the state institutions have boldly taken up the existential challenge faced by the country by frontally facing the terrorist menace. Despite the recent Lahore carnage the country is heaving a sigh of satisfaction over the improved security situation. The Chairman paid homage to the innocent victims of the cowardly acts of terrorism, women and children, and to the courage of our soldiers who have laid down their lives so that all of us may live and work in peace.

At the same time, Mr. Hamdani reminded that the situation on the economic front remained grim. The much awaited structural reforms for the short and long term solution of the energy crisis, widening of the tax net and the improvement of the functioning of vital public sector corporations still remain a distant dream. While the big national corporations like PIA and Pakistan steel mills are facing deep problems, no major domestic or foreign industrial investment is forthcoming as yet. He expressed the hope that the new automobile policy will encourage European automobile manufacturers, to enter the field.

He further said that the economic potential of the country has been under-exploited by local investors and under-estimated by foreign investors.  Foreign investment is the key to the development of the key economic sectors.  If the government of Pakistan has to take adequate measures to facilitate foreign investment, foreign investors, including the large French multinationals, in energy, agro-food, transport and water and sanitation sectors also have to revise their negative outlook concerning Pakistan.

The Chairman/CEO expressed satisfaction over the continued increase in the bilateral trade between France and Pakistan. The two-way trade has for the 5th year running crossed the symbolic threshold of a billion Euros. More than 40 French companies are established in Pakistan either as direct subsidiaries, representation offices or joint ventures. French companies in Pakistan provide employment to about 5500 persons.

Mr. Jamil Hamdani, specially highlighted the successful collaboration between PFBA and Business France agency for providing useful trade leads to the members of PFBA and other businessmen. A regular stream of information and market studies for French companies is maintained by the Business support office of PFBA. The Pakistani professional visiting various exhibitions in Dubai such as Arab Health, Gulf food  and Beauty World are provided facilitation for setting up meetings with French exhibitors. He requested Mr. Thibaut Fabre, Director South Asia of Business France, to reconsider the unfortunate decision, taken in 213 to wind up the official French commercial representation in Karachi

At the end, he emphasized the need for PFBA to provide real-time two-way information and services to Pakistani and French companies regarding all aspects of identification of trade, business and investment opportunities in each other's country. It was the best and the only way to further develop trade and investment between the two countries.
The Chief Guest H.E. Mme DORANCE addressed the members and guests, following which Mr. Eric NOITAKIS the Head of the French Economic Department, Mr. Thibaut FABRE , Regional Director BUSINESS France and Mr. Dominique FRACHON Director Investment of BUSINESS France provided useful information to the members.