LAHORE: Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Per Westerberg has said that Sweden was keen to enhance relations with Pakistan in the fields of trade, tourism, health and technical education.
Per Westerberg was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari threw light on bilateral relations between the two countries while Swedish Ambassador in Pakistan Tomas Rosander and LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar also spoke on the occasion.
The Swedish Speaker, who was heading a large high-powered trade and Parliamentary delegation, said that their first ever visit to Pakistan was enough to make the point that Sweden attaches great importance to this country.
Per Westerberg said that Sweden considers Pakistan its closest friend and economic partner. He said that Swedish business community was aware of the huge economic potential that exists in Pakistan and has expressed its keenness for utilizing that untapped potential.
He said that his country was ready to extend cooperation in the field of Hydro electricity as Sweden was producing more than 60 per cent its electricity through hydro means.
He said that the Sweden believes that Pakistan’s economy was heading in right direction under the present democratic set up but it would have to go further to attract more foreign investment.
The Speaker highlighted the need of regular parliamentary and trade exchanges between Pakistan and Swedish in order to enhance bilateral relations therefore a special attention should be given towards this particular area.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI president Engineer Sohail Lashari thanked the Swedish government for supporting Pakistan on GSP Plus status. This has enhanced exports of Pakistan to the European Union and will definitely uplift the economy of Pakistan through a number of ways including creation of new job opportunities.
He said that Pak-Swedish relations have immense potential to grow and the enhancement of trade, business, education exchange programs, medical research and tourism can further augment out already friendly ties.
There should be exchange of students on regular basis as well as that of medical scholars. We request the Swedish government to allocate a certain quota of scholarships for the Pakistani students in order to uplift the education standard in our country.
The potential areas of cooperation and investment for Sweden in Pakistan are Health Care and Life Sciences, Energy and Environmental Technology, Information and Communication Technologies, Business Infrastructure and Services and Manufacturing & Materials Technology
He said that Sweden and Pakistan should have tourism packages for each other as both countries have places which are heaven for tourists. Our northern areas have spots which are famous worldwide for their beautiful locations.
Mountaineering, paragliding and polo are sports which are widely played in those areas. The culture and civilization is worth witnessing. In fact we have here in Pakistan the world’s oldest civilization. Harappa and Moenjodaro are places which have earned world fame for being the oldest civilizations in the world and are a striking tourist attraction.
Major Swedish export sectors are paper and pulp, telecommunication equipment, machinery, trucks, chemicals, metals and defence equipment. Swedish multinational companies such as Ericsson, Saab, Tetrapak, Volvo, ABB, Atlas Copco, Oriflame and Alfa Laval dominate the Swedish exports. Pakistan exports to Sweden, consist mainly of textile, garments, leather and sports goods.
Swedish delegation included members of Swedish Parliament, Lars Johansson, Gunner Axen, Wiwi-Anne Johansson and Karlin Nilsson.
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