26 Feb 2024

Chamber-led delegation embarks on Pakistan trade mission

GBCC Nasir Awan 48.jpg

A delegation of Greater Birmingham business leaders, led by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce president Nasir Awan, is set to embark on a trade mission to Pakistan this week.

Nasir (pictured) will be joined by representatives from four GBCC member businesses, as well as Asian Business Chamber of Commerce director Anjum Khan and Greater Birmingham Global Chamber of Commerce president Mark Smith, for the visit which has been organised in partnership with the UK government and UK in Pakistan, facilitated by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

The delegation includes Harvir Sahota, chief executive of West Midlands catering firm Mahirs Experience, Hasan Afzal Rana from carpet retailer SA Carpets Northfield, Aftab Chughtai, owner of independent nursery retailer Aftabs, and Neelam Afzal, Asian Business Chamber vice-president, employment solicitor and founder of Neelam’s Boutique.

The visit will take in the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot, with Chamber delegates having the opportunity to attend one-to-one business and networking meetings with potential suppliers.

A key part of the mission will be meeting Pakistani businesses, in particular women-led businesses, to access export opportunities in the UK.

Overall, the mission will help strengthen the bilateral trade relation between Pakistan and the UK.

The UK is Pakistan’s largest export destination in Europe and the third globally. 

Nasir Awan said: “I’m looking forward to leading this trade mission and representing the GBCC in Pakistan, with whom the UK already has a prosperous trading relationship.

“The purpose of this trip is to give importers from Greater Birmingham an opportunity to meet potential new suppliers and explore the quality of products and the professionalism of businesses operating in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is still flourishing as an exporter to major markets such as the UK and the USA. The UK is one of Pakistan’s top five export markets and the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) allows UK importers to bring in 94 per cent of products from Pakistan duty free.

“My company Awan Marketing has been importing from Pakistan for many years and we’re hoping to have some B2B meetings with new suppliers, to hopefully negotiate some better rates and to try and overcome some of the inflation and shipping cost issues that currently exist.”

Anjum Khan said: “We are delighted to be working with the UK government and ITC in taking a number of a high-profile business-leaders from Greater Birmingham in order to cultivate closer ties with our Pakistani counterparts.

“Pakistan is a country with rich potential and given the strong diaspora we have in our region, now is the perfect time to seize these opportunities.

“We look forward to visiting Karachi, Lahore and Sialkot and building relationships with dynamic businesses that are looking to engage with Birmingham and the wider region.”

Related topics