KARACHI: Murtaza Hashwani, Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium and Deputy Chairman & CEO of Hashoo Group, welcomed a 24-member trade delegation from Belgium at Karachi Marriott Hotel on Tuesday at a festive dinner held on the dual occasion to celebrate Belgium’s King’s Day and announce their five-day visit to Pakistan.
Ambassador to Belgium in Pakistan, His Excellency Frédéric Verheyden also welcomed the delegation and prominent members of the Pakistan business community who attended the event. The evening provided an opportunity to further strengthen the trade relationship between Pakistan and Belgium, now the fifth largest trading partner of Pakistan among the European Union countries.
In his opening address to the guests, Mr. Hashwani welcomed more than 300 guests and remarked, “This is a great time to be in Pakistan. The country is undergoing a process of economic liberalization, and we are optimistic about the potential for foreign investment. We have a sizeable young and vibrant workforce, and a growing class of entrepreneurs that present opportunities for trade and investment. Belgium is one of Pakistan’s top trade partners, and trade visits like this play an important role in strengthening this partnership.”
Ambassador to Belgium in Pakistan, His Excellency Frédéric Verheyden who is traveling with the delegation spoke about the success of the meetings held with the Chief Minister and other officials who are seeking solutions to the many challenges that the city and the province are currently facing. The array of Belgian companies in this delegation can provide solutions to those challenges. He also proudly announced that Pakistan officially became an investor in Belgium through an agreement between two companies that is being implemented this week and that out of the hundreds of B2B meetings that took place during their visit to Karachi he is confident that similar ventures will follow.
Led by Wallonia Export-Investment Agency Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Pascale Delcomminette, the visiting delegation comprises of representatives from 20 leading companies representing sectors including steel, healthcare, banking, telecommunications, biotechnology, and chocolate. During her speech, Mrs. Delcomminette told the audience “This economic mission to present companies from Belgium takes place a very critical time of economic and political changes in Pakistan. We are so confident that, as in the past, the resilience of the Pakistani economy and its people will prevail, and the country will find stability and progress.”
The delegation held hundreds of business to business meetings in Karachi and now moves to Lahore, aiming to strengthen commerce between the two countries further and explore new opportunities which have emerged under the recently sworn-in government.
Murtaza Hashwani was appointed Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium in Karachi in March 2018, following in the footsteps of his father Hashoo Group Chairman Sadruddin Hashwani. He served as Honorary Consul for almost thirty years and was recognised for his role in promoting good relations between the Kingdom of Belgium and Pakistan. By the decision of His Majesty King Philippe in April 2014, Sadruddin Hashwani was appointed to the rank of Knight-Commander in the Order of Leopold II, the house order of the Belgian monarchy to reward outstanding personalities having rendered exceptional services to the Kingdom.