Mr Sharma spent two days visiting Islamabad and Karachi to meet government officials and businesses to reiterate the UK’s commitment to building further trade between the UK and Pakistan. The trip builds on the Foreign Secretary’s visit to the country in November 2016 where he urged greater trade cooperation.
In Islamabad, Mr Sharma held talks with Foreign Policy Chief Sartaj Aziz; Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan; and Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal. He also held talks with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor Mushahid Hussain Syed and on human rights with Barrister Zafarullah Khan and the Human Rights Minister Kamran Michael.
In Karachi, Mr Sharma met the Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, as well as Pakistani business leaders and British businesses, including GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered Bank, retailer Team A Ventures, TCS Courier Service and members of the Pakistan Business Council to discuss how the UK Government can help improve trade possibilities between the two countries. He also met the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and visited the Pakistan Stock Exchange where he rang the bell to close the day’s trading.
Following the visit, Mr Sharma said:
As we approach the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, I am delighted to have experienced first-hand the old friendship the UK shares with Pakistan.
With our historic ties and strong economies the potential for our two countries to do business together is immense. I held productive talks with senior members of the Government and business leaders and discussed how we can collectively do more to unlock these exciting opportunities and increase bilateral trade and investment.