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Interview with Mr. YVES-MICHEL RIOLS, French Journalist “L’EXPANSION”

This interview was conducted on 11th August, 2006 at a dinner reception hosted by the President, Mr. Jamil Hamdani at his residence in honour of Mr. RIOLS. Mr. RIOLS was kind enough to spare a few minutes to speak to us.

Q. Is this your first visit to Pakistan?

A. Yes, it is the first time I am here.

Q. What brings you to Pakistan?

A. As you know I am a journalist. I work for the French economic newspaper “L’Expansion”. I am on a 5 day visit to Pakistan to do a report on the economy of the country. In view of the numerous economic changes and upheavals that have occurred over the past few years in Pakistan, I wanted to observe and assess the situation for myself. In this context I wanted to meet people and visit organizations in different economic sectors.

Q. Which sectors of the economy did you undertake to observe and which organizations did you visit in this regard?

A. Since I wanted to compile a sample comprising my findings in the Industrial, Textile, Telecom, Banking and Agricultural sectors, I visited several organizations among which are Habib Bank, KASB Securities and the Alcatel Factory. Some of the organizations I visited have only recently been privatized. I am particularly interested in the Telecommunications sector and Alcatel being the leader on this front, I wanted to visit them.

Q. Were your visits limited to private organizations or did you also meet with Government Officials?

A. Yes, in fact I visited several significant establishments and met with many important Government Officials, the Secretary of State for Commerce and the Investment Bureau, to name only a few.

Q. Is your trip limited to Islamabad and Karachi only or will you be visiting other cities of Pakistan?

A. Yes, I will be going to Lahore tomorrow to research the Agricultural sector. We will be visiting the country-side and factories for this purpose.

Q. How has this trip to Pakistan materialized and has it proved to be fruitful for you?
A. This trip was organized and sponsored by the Export Promotion Bureau on suggestion of His Excellency, The French Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Régis de Belnet. I am very grateful to His Excellency, The Ambassador and the Export Promotion Bureau for giving me this opportunity to be in Pakistan. It has indeed proven to be very informative so far.

Q. Would you like to share with us your conclusions and impressions of our country?

A. No, (laughingly) it’s too early to draw any conclusions. However, I must say that Pakistan is full of contrast just like its’ economic reality.

Q. When will this report you are compiling currently on the economy of Pakistan appear in your newspaper?

A. It will be featured in the September issue of “L’Expansion”. I think it will do well to promote the image of Pakistan in France and elsewhere abroad.

Q. Any suggestions you may have to enhance the effectiveness of Pakistan France Business Alliance? In your opinion what should be the primary areas of commercial collaboration between our two countries?

A. I think it is safe to say that you must try to attract the Investment sector in France. It is very important to clearly define target sectors and use specialized press to your advantage.

Interview: Mrs. Humaira Kenan, Editor/PFBA

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