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“Sialkot produces world-class sports goods. Need to boost Pakistan – UK trade partnership”; James Daly MP, UK PM’s Trade Envoy for Pakistan.

Staff Reporter

LONDON: A networking reception was hosted by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce in honor of a ten-member delegation of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), which is visiting the UK and organized by the Pakistan High Commission. Mr. James Daly MP, UK PM’s Trade Envoy for Pakistan was the Chief Guest. Other dignitaries included Mr. Afzal Khan MP, Mr. Rashid Iqbal CEO of Pakistan Britain Business Council (PBBC), Pakistan’s Consul General at Manchester Mr. Muhammad Tariq Wazir, and Trade Minister Pakistan High Commission London Mr. Shafiq Ahmed Shahzad. Among others, a large number of businessmen based in Manchester and foreign traders attended the event also. Mr. James Daly MP, said that Sialkot produced high-quality products and UK’s sports market holds a huge potential for manufacturers. He said that, as a Trade Envoy, he wanted to put Sialkot prominently on the trading map of Britain. Fostering partnerships in the UK would further boost businesses with Pakistan. A strategic long-term partnership would require a cemented relationship between the two countries.

Mr. Afzal Khan MP warmly welcomed the SCCI delegation. He said that 230,000 Pakistanis living in Manchester would become a source of bonding with the city of Sialkot. He emphasized the need for exchanges of skilled manpower between the UK and Pakistan.

Mr. Shafiq Ahmed Shahzad, in his welcome address, stated that Pakistan- UK bilateral trade stood at around 3 billion USD annually and was mainly textile-based. He said that the UK offered tremendous potential for Pakistani products. Pakistan High Commission was working tirelessly to facilitate linkages between Pakistani and British traders.

Mr. Ikram ul Haq, leading the SCCI delegation, said that Sialkot-based industries provide material for more than 100 world-class brands across the globe. He said that Sialkot caters to 70 % of the world’s football manufacturing and exports products worth billions per annum. He thanked the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for hosting them in Manchester and the Pakistan High Commission for facilitating networking with UK-based businessmen.

Later, a networking session was held wherein UK-based businessmen expressed keen interest in products manufactured by SCCI including leather goods, surgical instruments, sportswear, footballs, and cricket bats & balls.



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