High Commissioner hosts ceremony, says appointment to enhance bilateral trade and investment
New Government has done exceptionally well in transparency, economic reforms and ease of doing business: Julian Hamilton
London: The High Commissioner, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria hosted a ceremony to announce the appointment of Mr. Julian Martin Hamilton Barns as Honorary Consul of Pakistan for the UK on 10 October 2019. The appointment has been made by the President of Pakistan in recognition of his services in promoting bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and UK.
Held at the High Commission, the ceremony was attended by the CEOs and senior officials of British business firms, UK Government Departments and financial institutions. Those represented at the ceremony included: Department for International Trade (DIT), British Asian Trust, London Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Asian Business Park, JCB, Global Communications, Indus Hospital, British Airways, Lloyds Bank, May Bank, HBL, UBL, Ocean Aircraft, Philips, British Council, Leonardo Company, FlyPop, Oracal Coalfields, Comstar and others.
Mr. Hamilton also chairs Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC) founded in 2002. A solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales, Mr. Hamilton specializes in cross border corporate finance & mergers and acquisitions. He has significant experience in dealing with international joint ventures and transactions, involving partners in different legal jurisdictions.
In his remarks on the occasion, the High Commissioner felicitated Mr. Hamilton on his appointment as the Honorary Consul and commended his efforts in promoting trade and investment ties between Pakistan and the UK. He hoped that in his new role Mr. Hamilton would be able to facilitate and promote trade and investment between the two countries more effectively.
Giving an outlook of Pakistan economy, the High Commissioner said the global economic gravity is shifting towards Asia and by virtue of its unique geographic location, Pakistan has the potential to be the centre of the global economic activity. He said the country is rapidly gaining investors’ attention and confidence. In this regard, Mr. Zakaria mentioned that multibillion investments are pouring into Pakistan owing to room for growth and attractive investment policy, in addition to over $62 billion investment envisaged under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The High Commissioner also briefed the audience about various investment opportunities in Pakistan. In this regard, he identified priority areas including Special Economic Zones (SEZs), tourism infrastructure development, energy sector, agriculture, sports, surgical instruments, pharmaceutical, I.T. and Fintech sectors. He underlined that for sustainable edge, in Fintech and engineering industry, UK has immense opportunities on offer in Pakistan, given a large pool of IT professionals and abundance of competitive human resource base.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hamilton thanked the government of Pakistan for reposing its trust and confidence in him. He expressed his resolve to promote trade and investment in Pakistan to facilitate the British investors in doing business with Pakistan.
Fully endorsing the economic picture of Pakistan presented by the High Commissioner, Mr Hamilton apprised the attendees of innumerable trade and investment benefits offered by Pakistan. Speaking about the geographical advantage of Pakistan, Mr Hamilton said two-third of the world population lives around Pakistan and majority of that population would be economically active in the next two decades. Quoting the projections made by international financial institutions, he said Pakistan has long term growth anticipation. He added: “CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan with $62 billion investment but if London and New York and other financial institutions got behind this and work with Pakistan, the investment that could be raised would be dramatic.” He said the inflow of foreign investment to Pakistan shows the confidence of foreign investors in Pakistani market.
Mr Hamilton specifically mentioned the growing ease of doing business in Pakistan which has been duly acknowledged and reported by the World Bank last November saying that Pakistan improved its ranking by 11 notches. He said in terms of transparency and economic reforms the current government of Pakistan is doing exceptionally well.
Talking about the challenge of perception of Pakistan, Mr Hamilton agreed with the High Commissioner’s views that ground reality is different from what is portrayed in the international media about security situation. He lauded the sacrifices of people of Pakistan in restoring peace in the country and helping international community’s global drive for peace and security. He urged the British companies to visit and do business with Pakistan for attractive returns on their investments.
Mr Hamilton also gave a presentation on his priority areas, future projects and investment conferences. He shared his plan to build 25 hospitals in Pakistan on sustainable basis to support health sector of the country.
Mr Hamilton appreciated the cooperation extended to him by the High Commission for mutually beneficial trade and investment ties.