“Promotion of bilateral trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Finland stands high on my agenda. In this connection, Pak-Finland Business Summit will be held in near future,” said Rauli Suikkanen, Ambassador of Finland to Pakistan. He said this while addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Tuesday. He said that Finland Embassy in Pakistan was closed in October 2012, however, I am performing my diplomatic duties as Roving Ambassador.
He said that it is my third visit to Pakistan but it is for the first time I visited Faisalabad. He said that ultimate objective of his visit is to promote bilateral trade ties in addition to promotion of cultural activities. He particularly mentioned a recently signed MoU between the Museum Associations of both the countries. The ambassador said that Pakistan’s GDP growth rate was 3.6 percent last year, which is appreciable, and beyond our expectation and Pakistan is now on the right path of progress. He said that Finland is also making efforts to play its role in the development of Pakistan with enhanced investment by Finnish companies. He said that two companies are conducing market survey and expected to set up viable industries in Karachi and Lahore.
Regarding appointment of Honorary Consul General in Faisalabad he said that currently two Honorary Consul Generals are working in Karachi and Lahore; the third is expected to be appointed in Islamabad and then we would think to appoint Honorary Consul General in Faisalabad.
Earlier in his welcome address, President FCCI, Engr Suhail Bin Rashid said we welcome the Finish government to strengthen the cultural ties and newly established co-operation linking Finnish and Pakistani Museum Associations where Faisalabad’s Lyallpur Museum has a key player in the Program. He said that Pakistan and Finland are enjoying good bilateral and diplomatic relations since 1951. In fiscal year 2012 bilateral trade stood at US $141.2 million almost in favour of both countries as Pakistan exported US $71.23 million worth of goods to Finland, while imports stood at US $69.97 million.
He said that ample opportunities of joint ventures exist between the two countries. Pakistan is the most promising land in the region for investment. Finnish corporations can invest in Pakistan while expanding their businesses across Pakistan and beyond. He said that nearly 400 Finnish companies are currently operating in South Asian region and had made substantial investment in the last ten years in this part of the world.
He hoped that more Finnish investors would divert their attention towards Pakistan in future to enhance Finnish investment in Pakistan. FCCI president proposed frequent exchange of trade delegations, identification and trade of more products where both the countries have competitive edge, single country exhibitions in both the countries and tapping other areas of joint ventures and investments like technology transfer and up-gradation, information technology and collaboration in technical and vocational trainings. Attique, Director Lyallpur Museum also addressed and briefed the participants about the co-operation between museum associations of two countries.