Norwegian envoy sees great trade potential in Pakistan

KARACHI: Ambassador of Norway, Tore Nedrebo has said that there was a great potential for Pakistan and Norway to increased trade as many Norwegian companies were interested in making investments in Pakistan.

“Norwegian companies are exploring investment opportunities around the world and if they see such opportunities in Pakistan, they will surely come to invest in this country as well,” he said while exchanging views during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

First Secretary, Embassy of Norway Tom Jorgen Martinussen, Honorary Consul General of Norway Mohammad Moonis, President KCCI Younus Mohammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Mohammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.

Norwegian Ambassador said, “The existing trade volume of $70 to $80 million, which fortunately is in favor of Pakistan, is not a lot and we need to do lot more for improving it further.” Tore Nedrebo, while highlighting some glaring examples of Norwegian investments in Pakistan, informed that a Norwegian companies plans to establish solar power plant in Sindh whose ground work will begin this year with an initial investment of US$250 million which may be raised further keeping in view Pakistan’s need for energy while a hydropower project will also by established in northern areas of Pakistan, he added. Earlier, while welcoming the Norwegian Ambassador, President KCCI Younus Mohammad Bashir said that Karachi offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to Norwegian Investors.

He was of the view that with improved law and order situation, Karachi has become an attractive place for foreign investors, who can surely earn maximum profits by setting up their businesses or undertaking joint ventures. He said that KCCI was keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Norway as they believe that Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Norway would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity for our country.

Commenting on trade ties between Pakistan and Norway, Bashir said that both countries share healthy diplomatic relations and it was heartening to note that Norway has been providing development assistance to Pakistan, particularly in the areas of governance and education. On a smaller scale, Norway has also contributed toward documentation and preservation of Pakistan’s cultural heritage, he said, adding that Pakistanis form one of the largest immigrant communities in Norway.

He pointed out that during Fiscal Year 2015, Pakistan exported goods worth $54 million to Norway while the imports from Norway stood at $9.20 million. Younus Bashir was of the opinion that there was much potential for enhancing bilateral trade relations between Norway and Pakistan as Norway imports $3 to $4 billion of textiles related items from around the globe. Pakistan has a good chance to enhance its exports share of textiles in Norwegian market, he added.

“We also want to promote Norwegian investment in Pakistan and do everything for the development of Pakistan-Norwegian business cooperation,” President KCCI said.