A high profile French Parliamentary Delegation headed by Senator Pascal Allizard Chairman of the Pakistan France Friendship Group in French Senate met with the Pakistan Senate Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Senate headed by Senator Faisal Javed Khan here at the Parliament House on Wednesday.
Senator Faisal Javed welcomed the delegation and observed that the bilateral relationship between the two countries has grown over the years and the huge potential on both sides especially among the young population can take it to new heights. He remarked that more than 65 percent of Pakistani population comes under the category of youth and it can change the tide for the country. He said that after the new government has come into power, there is an enhanced focus on trade and business with different countries and our orientation towards France is no different.
Senator Lt. Gen. Abdul Qayyum who headed the friendship group in the last tenure explicated upon the interactions and engagements held between the two Parliaments through the two friendship groups on both sides. He observed that Pakistan is a land of opportunities for business investments as well as tourism. He said that as of today 46 French companies are doing business in Pakistan and we hope that this number increases manifolds.
Pakistani side expressed hope that France will explore investment in agriculture research, climate change, railway, surgical instruments, and technical training centres among other sectors. The cooperation in defence sector also came under discussion and both looked forward to enhanced cooperation.
Senator Faisal Javed remarked that in terms of heritage and cultural exchange and the vast tourism potential France can explore a wide array of opportunities to build the ties further with Pakistan. He said that the present government has revised its visa policies and has it on its priority to improve ease of business and investment as well as provide tourism appeal. He said that the incumbent government and especially the Prime Minister is passionate about facilitating tourism in Pakistan and the sole purpose of revising the visa policy is to promote tourism. He said that Pakistan is rich in mountain tourism, beach tourism, religious tourism among other areas.
Senator Pascal Allizard agreed with the Pakistani side that trade and business needs to be enhanced. He said that the Friendship group in French Senate has been focusing on economic research, teaching, and cultural exchange in its work for the last four years. He said that a lot success has been achieved in increasing the number of Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutions in France.
Members of the Senate appreciated the role of the Parliamentary friendship group in cementing the ties between the two countries. Members expressed hope that Pakistan has a lot to learn from France as it is not just a prominent country in Europe but also a central country at the global stage.
French delegation told the Pakistani side that many of the hurdles being faced by the French business companies earlier have now been resolved and soon more and more French companies will invest in Pakistan. Members were also told that it much goes to the credit of these friendship groups that the perception of Pakistan’s economic stability and security situation has changed in France. Pakistani side expressed gratitude to the French Senators for their support and hoped that the true picture of Pakistan and its people will soon make it to international community.