Cross-border enterprise development : UK to help enhance entrepreneurial landscape in Pakistan

Cross-border enterprise development :  UK to help enhance entrepreneurial landscape in Pakistan


KARACHI: British Business Centre (BBC) and SEED Ventures have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of entrepreneurial landscape between Pakistan and UK.

An announcement on Wednesday said that the SEED Ventures, an enterprise development organisation that works to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship, would help promote trade, industry, investment and economic relations between the UK and Pakistan.

Furthermore, the two entities would work together to develop the enterprise and social enterprise landscape in the two countries through cross-border relations and initiatives.

The MoU was signed by SEED Ventures Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Faraz Khan and British Business Centre Chief Executive Officer Malahat Awan in presence of former State Bank of Pakistan governor Dr Ishrat Husain, British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi John Tucknott, SEED Ventures Director and Co-founder Khusro Ansari and prominent members of the business community.

According to the MoU, SEED Ventures and British Business Centre have agreed to work collaboratively as partners to enhance, promote and support the entrepreneurial segment of Pakistan and the UK through cross-border enterprise development, local business solutions, and 360-degree business consultancies.

In this regard, they would be creating synergies with the development sector, the private sector, as well as the locally operating UK organisations.

Speaking at the ceremony as a chief guest, Dr Ishrat Husain said that the bilateral trade and investment relationship between our two countries holds great significance for the Pakistani government. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has underlined the UK Government's full support for a democratic Pakistan and has offered assistance along the democratic path the Pakistani people have chosen, he added.

"We want this relationship to flourish in the coming years and we hope such initiatives continue to take place in order to build relationships between the two countries. We already see a strong British trade and investment presence in Pakistan and with this agreement, we hope more British businesses and investors will come and see firsthand the opportunities that Pakistan overall has to offer," Dr Ishrat Husain said.

British Deputy High Commissioner John Tucknott on the occasion said, "The UK already enjoys a strong relationship with Pakistan in the key area of prosperity. The British Business Centre's goal is to contribute to an increase in bilateral trade and investment, in line with the commitments made by Prime Ministers David Cameron and Nawaz Sharif when they met in London in April 2014. We welcome the support that SEED Ventures is extending towards the centre in order to help achieve this goal."

SEED Ventures CEO Faraz Khan during his speech said that the entrepreneurial climate in Pakistan is changing, with a necessity to support and promote the rapidly emerging start-ups, SMEs and larger enterprises further scaling up.

He also commented that the industries are unable to absorb the graduates that the country is producing and entrepreneurship must be introduced as an avenue all across various landscapes in Pakistan. He further stressed upon the benefits of strong points of alignments between organisations working in this segment in the two countries and furthering the mandate of the two entities - British Business Centre and SEED Ventures that would ensure an increase in cross-border trade relations, capacity enhancement, financial inclusion, and economic empowerment of all communities.

In addition to providing a base for visiting UK companies, the British Business Centre would offer access to a number of services to UK and Pakistani member companies including market research, business opportunity promotion, event management, networking opportunities and sector specific services, it was further pointed out.