On Wednesday, March 16th 2016, the Swiss Business Council (SBC) visited the headquarters of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade to discuss the next steps for increasing trade and to further solidify the bond between the two entities by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Swiss Business Council is responsible for nearly all Swiss Investment in Pakistan. Switzerland currently ranks 5th in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan. The SBC has 50 members, 25 of whom are from Pakistan and include distinguished organizations and companies such as Abbott Laboratories Pakistan, Habib Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank among many others. The SBC is responsible for introducing Swiss companies to the Pakistani market; these companies include but are not limited to Swiss International Airlines, Mövenpick and Nestlé.
“Switzerland has been a reliable trading partner. Swiss based multinational companies have invested billions of dollars in Pakistan, in various sectors including food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, engineering and banking thus providing jobs for over 10,000 Pakistanis”, said Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT).
“PBIT have recently facilitated M/s Sika Pakistan (A Swiss company), to acquire a land of 3.61 acres for establishment of their new factory in Sunder Industrial Estate, Lahore, a fruit reaped out of our MoU signed in 2015, initially for one-year” he added.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Asif Ikram, President SBC said “Pakistan and Switzerland have always had cordial diplomatic relations. Diplomatic ties between the two countries go back to almost 60 years and there is even a road named after Pakistani scientist Dr. Abdus Salam in Geneva. Recently however, both countries have stepped up efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two countries and countless measures have been taken to ensure that this step is successful.”
The meeting between PBIT and SBC was very successful. The SBC was very interested in the Pakistani market and thanked PBIT for their excellent support in their role as facilitators to the SBC. Prominent dignitaries including the SBC’s Patron in Chief, Mr. Roger Kull the deputy head of the Swiss Mission in Islamabad, the Patron Mr. Emil Wyss, the Swiss Consul General in Karachi and Chief Executive Officer, Sika Pakistan, Mr. Naveed Chaudhry were also present at the meeting.