Islamabad: Danish companies and their Pakistani partners met to discuss how to further increase trade between Pakistan and Denmark. The meeting, which was chaired by the new Danish Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Jesper Moller Sorensen, took place in Karachi within the framework of the Pakistan – Danish Business Club.
According to Ambassador Sorensen, Pakistan has huge potential for Danish companies. ” Pakistan faces challenges in some of the areas where Danish companies have strong holds like renewable energy, energy efficiency, health care solutions and the food and agricultural industry.
We want to work closely together with the companies already doing good business in Pakistan as they are role models for other Danish companies.
Later this year, we will also open a commercial section at the Embassy to assist more Danish companies. It is also clear that some Danish companies are reluctant about Pakistan. They are concerned about security, energy shortages, and ending up in legal disputes. If some of these concerns are alleviated, even more Danish companies will engage themselves here.”
Novo Nordisk is a global leader for diabetes care products. Participating in the meeting, Head of Novo Nordisk Pakistan, Mr. Rana Azfar Zafar, stated that: “Millions of Pakistanis suffer from diabetes and do not get the proper care.
Pakistanis’ awareness about health risks, lifestyle diseases and diabetes is still limited. Novo Nordisk sees a vast potential in Pakistan, and with a population of almost 200 million people expected to rise to around 275 million in 2050, Pakistan should also be a very potential market for other Danish companies.”
The Danish toy brand LEGO, who started its operations in Pakistan through their distributor Marketing Plus with a soft launch of its website www.IKnowMyToys.com last year, launched its first Flagship Store of LEGO earlier this year in Karachi.
It is set to expand its operations further to other major cities. Mr. Bilal Saleem, CEO of Marketing Plus stated that “almost 35 per cent of the population is below the age of 14, and the growth rate is expected to remain high for many years.
As we seek to expand our operations in Pakistan, we also want to make our contributions in increasing the level of education by setting up institutes across the country to enhance the creativity among the Pakistani youth through the use of ingenious products by LEGO.”
A.P. Moller – Maersk is the world’s largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator. Mr. Morten Jensen, Head of A.P. Moller – Maersk in Pakistan, stated: “There are certainly many challenges in Pakistan, but for sure more opportunities.
Surprisingly, Pakistan is offering a well-functioning, transparent and price competitive infrastructure creating a reliable supply chain.
In addition, with more than 20 million people, Karachi is one of the world’s largest cities with a rapidly growing middle class leading to a great potential for Maersk Line and for other Danish companies. The time is right for companies that dare become part of one of the potentially fastest growing economies in Asia.
FL Smidth, who provides engineering resources in areas such as cement, has been present in Pakistan since the 1970′s through its local partner, Falcon Engineering Services.
The Managing Director, Ihtesham Qureshi, says: “The new Government of Pakistan is business friendly, and it has secured an IMF loan which will enable other international actors also to invest in Pakistan.
In the coming years, we expect vast investments in infrastructure and energy projects, which will benefit companies like ours. I have no doubt that Pakistan offers a huge potential for other Danish companies as well”.
Manolo Gelato recently opened its first ice cream store in Islamabad, Pakistan. Managing Director, Mr. Shahid Arif, said: “The first five months have exceeded all our expectations. Just like in Copenhagen, many citizens in Islamabad also want high-quality ice cream. We are now looking to open more outlets in Pakistan. We are also looking at importing other high-quality Danish food products.”