ISLAMABAD, Oct 20, 2018: France is prepared to invest in subsequent phases of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), provided balance and transparency is assured, says its ambassador to Pakistan.
Chairman, Senate standing committee on defense production, Sen. Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum, said on Friday, Pakistan appreciates and welcomes France’s desire and endeavors to increase its investment in Pakistan.
He said this during a meeting with French Ambassador Dr. Marc Barety, who called on him at his office here. The Senator welcomed French decision to participate in the forthcoming 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.
Earlier in May, the French envoy had said “French companies would like to explore the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and try to discuss entry points after negotiations”.
The envoy told the Senator on Friday, France investments in Pakistan will be enhanced in due course of time.
He maintained that about 40 French companies, including Engie, Total and Sanofi, are doing successful business and recently a popular French auto brand Renault through Dubai-based company Al-Futaim has decided to set-up a car assembly plant in Pakistan.
France was keen on enhancing bilateral trade which was presently 1.4 billion Euro, he said.
Back in May, Amb. Barety had said that the “The French president during his recent visit to China had already given his views on CPEC which he believed to be a good connectivity for the region.
“As a matter of fact we are not waiting for CPEC because French companies are already investing in Pakistan but still in future would like to explore it and find a space on getting equal opportunity,” the envoy had said while talking to newsmen after inaugurating a bed linen factory set-up under a joint venture between French company Duquennoy et Lepers and Pakistani company D L Nash (Pvt) Ltd.
Presently, bilateral trade is restricted to few items, with France mostly exporting high tech plants and machinery (including turbine for power plants and helicopters) while Pakistan’s exports are restricted to textile goods only.
French companies are interested in waste management and water treatment projects and would also like to enter into areas like green and sustainable management in big cities, he added.
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 defense sector and showed his concern that three tenders for radars, submarines and mobile bridges were awarded to USA, Turkey and China respectively, The News reported. The Defense Production Committee chairman assured him that procedures followed were transparent, the report said.