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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
4 May 2012
Trade talks with Punjab Government support major citrus juice project
An Australian trade delegation has met with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Shariff to advance a major investment into the citrus sector in the Punjab, including construction of a juice extraction plant.
A delegation led by the Senior Trade Commissioner for Austrade in South Asia, Mr Peter Linford, met the Chief Minister in Lahore today to brief him on the project, which is collaboration between Pakistani citrus growers, Australian citrus and juicing company expertise and Middle East investment.
Mr Linford was accompanied in the delegation by Mr Jeff Knispel the CEO of Australian citrus company Nippys Juice, together with Mr Gerard Carroll of Dubai-based investment company Enshaa.
The delegation also met with the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) and together with Pakistani businessman Javid Majid, toured citrus growing areas, packing facilities and juicing operations in the province of Punjab.
“We believe there is tremendous potential for international collaboration to develop the Pakistani citrus sector,” Mr Linford said. “This will result in higher crop returns to farmers, employment opportunities and supply of quality juice products within Pakistan and to export markets.”
Welcoming the development, the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, HE Mr Tim George, said the project was an exciting development in trade and investment between Australia and Pakistan, which was showing great potential.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Chief Minister and the PBIT which will help to facilitate the speedy development of this new business opportunity,” he said.
The announcement coincided with the staging of a major reception called “Australia Day in Spring” hosted by Mr George at the Avari Lahore Hotel today. The reception featured
- Australian music trio Fiddlers Feast – leading Australian musicians who were flown all the way from Australia especially for the occasion;
- An exhibition of more than 50 photographs showing aspects of Australia’s development assistance to Pakistan;
- The launch of a book called “Endeavours of Excellence” celebrating 60 years of Australian scholarships to students from many parts of the world, including Pakistan; and
- A display of Australian products available in Pakistan including Bega cheeses, Berri fruit juices, Tim Tam biscuits and Meadowlea spreads;
- Samples of milk and other dairy products manufactured locally from Australian pure-bred cattle.
“This major event reflects the importance that Australia places on its strong and enduring partnership with Pakistan,” said Mr George, who was making his farewell visit to the Punjab. He leaves for Australia next month after three years as Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
The Australian High Commission gratefully acknowledges the support of AusAID, Thai Airways and Austrade (and various Australian and Pakistani suppliers) in staging the “Australia Day in Spring” events.
Contact: Fatimah Inayet 0300 854 7816