Karachi (PR): Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s President Mian Abrar Ahmad has emphasized to take into account the KCCI’s recommendations to issue priority business visas for United Kingdom. While exchanging views with Ms Mandy Ivemy, Regional Manager for Gulf, Iran and Pakistan, United Kingdom’s Border Agency, President KCCI also asserted upon the positive consideration and timely issuance of visas to genuine Pakistani students who get admission in UK’s universities for their higher studies. He apprised the Manager UK Border Agency about the pivotal role of Karachi Chamber to boost the national economy and the Chamber’s vivid demand to bring paradigm shift in trade policies while emphasizing on regional trade instead of export to USA & EU. He articulated that KCCI has a strong say in the Government circles and its proposals and recommendations are incorporated in the formulation of policies. He stated that KCCI is committed to bridge together the business communities of regional countries with a vision to establish joint chambers and likewise Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry is already established and efforts were underway to form Bombay-Karachi Joint Chamber. He informed that KCCI attaches high importance to bilateral trade with United Kingdom and a KCCI’s High-level Business Delegation headed by President intends to proceed to United Kingdom to meet their counterparts in Manchester to sign MoU with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and to participate in the United Pakistan Trade Exhibition. Owing to discriminatory economic policies of the west, he said that he proposed the Government of Pakistan to focus on regional trade which is the key solution to sustain peace and prosperity in the region. He articulated that the Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location can act as trade corridor between the Middle East, African, Central Asian Republics and SAARC countries. He highlighted that the future lies in Asia as the economies of Asian countries are developing on rapid pace. He also asserted upon the due consideration of KCCI recommendation letters for its members to acquire British visa.
Ms Mandy Ivemy, Regional Manager for Gulf, Iran and Pakistan, United Kingdom’s Border Agency based in British High Commission in Islamabad appreciated the role of KCCI in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. She informed that her responsibility was associated with the delivery/issuance of visas. She informed that Pakistan is the 5th largest country to apply British visas. Pakistan was providing huge source of revenue in the shape of Pakistani students studying at UK, she added. She stated that visa issuance ratio to Pakistanis was around 75 percent which is high as compared to other countries. Every year Pakistanis make around one million journeys to UK to meet their relatives, for business purpose or to take education. Owing to huge number of applications, the agency was responsible to take a lot of checks while processing applications. The process has been improved and delays previously observed are now removed. She informed that they were following the British Global Standard for visa processing with modernize services. Effective from 1st May British visas will be applied online, however, the applicants are require to visit nearest application centres for giving finger impressions and submission of documents. Priority visa is introduced for visitors who had visited UK in last two years which will be processed in 5 working days, while the ordinary visa processing time is 15 working days. The agency is in process to further improve services, she maintained. She also welcomed suggestions from KCCI in this regard.
Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz, Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan and Managing Committee Members also participated in the meeting. President KCCI also presented Chamber’s crest to the Manager UK Border Agency.
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