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Pakistan-France Business Alliance hosted its First Annual General Meeting on Friday, April 10, 2015 at a local hotel in Karachi.

The meeting was held under the honorable patronage of the Ambassador of France to Pakistan Her Excellency Mme Martine DORANCE, Patron the Consul General of France Mr. Francois DALL'ORSO and Honorary member Mr. Eric NOITAKIS.

The meeting was chaired by the Chairman/CEO Mr. Jamil Hamdani.

The Director Finance of the alliance Mr. Riaz Siddiqui presented the first set of audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2014 as a corporate entity registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) under Section 42 of the companies' ordinance 1984 limited by guarantee.

Mr. Siddiqui informed members that the accounts were audited by the highly regarded firm of Chartered Accountants namely Haroon Zakaria & Company; the firm has recently been engaged by Pakistan-France Business Alliance for Post Registration consultancy and audit purposes.

Mr. Siddiqui expressed his satisfaction at the healthy balance sheet of PFBA.

Following the Director Finance Mr. Siddiqui's financial statement, the Chairman/CEO Mr. Jamil Hamdani addressed the audience and started by giving a brief overview of the economy of the country, the challenges faced and the way ahead.

The Chairman stated that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and France was strengthening showing a growth of 13.2% in 2014 and crossed the symbolic threshold of a Billion Euros for the fourth year consecutively attaining the figure of 1. 13 Billion Euros.

Mr. Hamdani gave a brief account of the activities of PFBA during the period under review and concluded by inviting PFBA members to play their full role by proposing actions and activities which may help PFBA in attaining the objectives of going a step beyond the concept of a business forum to that of an efficient Bilateral Chamber of Commerce.

The Patron in Chief H.E. Mme DORANCE addressed the members and praised the efforts of PFBA under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Jamil Hamdani in improving the economic bilateral relationship between the two countries and termed PFBA a key player in the continually progressing Franco-Pak bond. 

H.E Mme DORANCE said that the Embassy of France in Pakistan and the Embassy of Pakistan in France was working hard to achieve their goal which included more economic exchanges between the two countries. 

H.E. Mme DORANCE announced that a United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) will take place in December 2015 in Paris and highlighted its importance.
Her Excellency concluded on a positive note by saying "we want to put Pakistan on our map and France on your map."

The Head of the French Economic Department Mr. Eric NOITAKIS also addressed members and spoke in detail about bilateral trade between the two countries and the steps being taken to further boost the present figures.

Mr. NOITAKIS said that France had never been able to reach or exceed the 500 Million Euro export to Pakistan and explained that the bilateral trade had reached the 1 Billion Euro mark because since 2012 Pakistan had increased its exports to France therefore favoring Pakistan as compared to France.

Mr. NOITAKIS said the two institutions in Pakistan assisting in bringing together and facilitating the business communities are Pakistan-France Business Alliance (PFBA) and Pakistan France Business Council (PFBC); the Pakistan Business Council and MEDEF International  are also working together to bring investment into each other's respective countries.

Mr. NOITAKIS said that BUSINESS FRANCE, the new body for promoting French businesses abroad and attracting foreign investment in France is a result of the merger of UBIFRANCE (French External Trade Agency) and AFII (FRENCH AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENTS) shall soon have a presence in Pakistan.

Mr. NOITAKIS also announced that after much perseverance and effort on his part COFACE the renowned French Credit Insurance agency which had stopped covering Pakistan for a while   shall be returning but restricted exclusively for the Private Sector.

Future events and activities in 2015 were listed and Mr. NOITAKIS concluded by offering his assistance to the French companies who may be facing varied difficulties in their everyday business and requested them to provide the necessary information and he would personally deal with the issue accordingly.

The honorable participation of Her Excellency Mme DORANCE, the Head of the French Economic Department Mr. Eric NOITAKIS, the French Consul General Mr. Francois DALL'ORSO, Chairman/CEO  & the PFBA Board of Directors and the active presence of members and guests made the 1st AGM a success.