PESHAWAR: Czech ambassador Tomas Smetanka on Thursday said his country was keen to strengthen economic and commercial relations with Pakistan.

He asked the businessmen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to benefit from the GPS-Plus scheme and make investment in his country.

The envoy was speaking to members of Peshawar’s business community during a meeting chaired by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad here.

He said the GPS-Plus scheme granted a duty-free access to Pakistani products to the European Union market and therefore, Pakistan investors should take its full benefit.

“We [Republic of Czech] are making vigorous efforts to improve trade and economic ties with Pakistan,” he said.

The ambassador said the Czech-Pakistan trade volume fluctuated due to coronavirus pandemic and other reasons but he was hopeful that the bilateral trade and economic relations would improve in future.

Earlier, SCCI chief Hasnain Khurhsid called for better commercial and economic ties between Pakistan and Republic of Czech.

“There is a huge potential to boost trade and economic ties between Pakistan and the Republic of Czech, which should be exploited effectively and efficiently,” he said.

The SCCI chief invited Czech investors to make investments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tourism and hospitality, power, oil, gas, mine and mineral, gemstone, honey, and pharmaceutical sectors.

He added that those investments could help further improve the trade and economic relations between the two countries.

The SCCI chief called for the simplification of visa issuance process for business community, promotion of mutual cooperation to bring the business community of the two countries closer to benefit from each other’s experiences, holding of joint trade exhibitions and business meetings.

Businessmen Zahidullah Shinwari, Faiz Mohammad Faizi, Sherbaz Bilour and others also spoke on the occasion and made recommendations for the strengthening of economic and trade ties between Pakistan and Republic of Czech.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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