In an important stride towards fostering economic cooperation and strengthening trade relations between Pakistan and UK, a coveted conference was held at the Queens Hotel Leeds on 22nd January 2024.  

The event was organised by the British Friends of Pakistan (BFPK), and the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Business Committee, together with the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI).

The conference was also partnered by the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce (WNYCC) and brought together key stakeholders, government officials, business leaders, and diplomats from both countries.

Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin

The dignitaries who attended the conference included Tracy Brabin – Mayor of West Yorkshire, James Mason – CEO of WNYCC, Saqib Rafiq – President of RCCI, Zahid Jatoi – Consul General Pakistan, Steve Garcia – Dept. of Business & Trade Advisor, Dr Obaid Amin – Bradford University academic and Alex wright – International Market Development Manager.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, on the importance of business and trading links between UK and Pakistan.

In addition, the personage from both countries, emphasised the historical ties and shared commitment in promoting mutual economic growth. The importance of strong economic ties was recognised by Mr. James Mason, Mr. Saqib Rafiq and Mr. Zahid Jatoi.

The RCCI delegates highlighted Pakistan, a nation of 240 million people – 60% under the age of 30, consists of much untapped talent in Human Resource particularly in information technology sector.  

A BFPK spokesperson said: “Pakistan is a country gifted with natural mineral resource and beautiful landscape for tourism, were few of other sentiments expressed at the convention.”

The conference then proceeded to signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between RCCI & WNYCC, supported by BFPK and BAME Business Committee.

In addition to formal discussions, the conference provided a networking platform for businesses from Pakistan and the UK that could lead to potential collaborations and investments in the two countries.

The role of BFPK was pivotal in organising this hugely successful event. BFPK was founded in January 2023 by a group of thoughtful British corporate professionals, entrepreneurs, educators, and community leaders whose aim is to advance progress and prosperity between Pakistan and the UK. For more information and to become a member of BFPK, the reader can visit their website: