KARACHI: Pakistan needs to step up efforts to counter its negative image in many countries and portray the real picture to highlight its huge economic potential.
“Unfortunately, perception about Pakistan is generally negative,” noted Swiss Consul General Philippe Crevoisier while talking to APP at the inauguration of The Explorer Store – the first distributor of Swiss company Victorinox products in Karachi.
Japan Consul General Toshikazu Isomura, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Noor-e-Helal Saifur Rahman, Victorinox International Sales Manager Lorenzo a Marca and Hazari Trading Company (authorised agents of Victorinox) Chief Executive Officer Aamir Hazari were present on the occasion. Victorinox produces quality knives and cutlery for household use.
Businessmen fear dumping of Chinese goods under CPEC
Crevoisier emphasised that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a big opportunity for Pakistan to build its soft image and boost national economy by attracting foreign investment.
It would help Pakistan increase trade with existing partners along with exploring new markets.
He pointed out that China was making big investment under CPEC and that would change the business environment in Pakistan. “This will also increase Pakistan-Switzerland trade,” he said. “I believe, the scenario will change after CPEC is completed.”
The envoy saw massive potential in Pakistan but its trade with Switzerland was not satisfactory and certain policy and logistical measures were required to increase it.
“Large Swiss companies are doing business in Pakistan, but small and medium enterprises are hesitant.”
In the last fiscal year, trade between Switzerland and Pakistan stood at $520 million which comprised $374 million worth of exports from Switzerland and $146 million in exports from Pakistan.
CPEC and Gwadar
Major export products of Switzerland were chemicals, pharmaceuticals and watches. Exports from Pakistan consisted of textile, leather products and food.
The envoy highlighted that in his one-and-a-half-year stay in Karachi, law and order had improved markedly.
Expressing pleasure over the inauguration of the Victorinox distribution chain, he voiced hope that more such businesses would be attracted to Pakistan.
Aamir Hazari stated that Victorinox already had 50 dealers in Pakistan, but now the first distribution company had been opened.
Lorenzo a Marca added the Swiss brand had a good share in 130 international markets and its sales were increasing.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2018