The French Ambassador to Pakistan Marc Barety on Friday said his country supported the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at a time when it is facing stiff opposition from many major nations. He mentioned France is prepared to invest in the subsequent phases of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, provided balance and transparency is ensured.
Chairman, Senate standing committee on defence production, Senator Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum, said on Friday that Pakistan appreciates and welcomes French desire and endeavours to increase its investment in Pakistan, which is a big market being 6th most populous country of the world.
He said this during a meeting with the French Ambassador Marc Barety, who called on him at his office here. The Senator welcomed French decision to participate in forth coming APA meeting being held in Gwadar on October 29-30, 2018.
The French ambassador said that France supports Chinese BRI concept and is ready to invest in the subsequent phases of CPEC provided balance and transparency is ensured. He said France investments in Pakistan will be enhanced in due course of time.
He mentioned that about 40 French companies, including Engie, Total and Sanofi, are doing successful business and France was keen on enhancing to bilateral trade which was presently 1.4 billion Euro.
The envoy contended that France and Germany were planning joint cultural events in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. He appreciated that in view of tremendous improvement in security situation in Pakistan. These events are being held with desired freedom. France is also opening French language institutes in Peshawar, Faisalabad and Karachi.
The ambassador also showed keenness to invest in the defence sector and showed his concern that three tenders for radars, submarines and mobile bridges were awarded to USA, Turkey and China respectively. The Defence Production Committee chairman assured him that procedures followed were transparent.
With the passage of time and the pace of development in projects of the CPEC, different world economies are showing their keen interest in these which would be very effective for the development of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative‘ and Pakistan. It will also provide with the wide range of the stability in the relationship of the Pakistan with other economic powers. Now it is the show time for the Pakistan to portray its effort in the balanced relationship with other developed countries which will be ultimately for the benefit of its own economic and diplomatic progress.