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EC-Pakistan Economic Co-operation: The Asia Invest Facility

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  4. EC-Pakistan Economic Co-operation: The Asia Invest Facility
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  8. FACTS

Sep 20 - 27, 1999

In recent years, the opportunities for business co-operation between the European Union and Asia have multiplied. The European Commission (EC), in keeping with the priorities set out in its 1994 Communication "Towards a New Asian Strategy", has developed a range of economic co-operation instruments to facilitate the taking up by industry of such opportunities. One of the most important new action is the Asia Invest Programme. The Asia Invest Programme is a European Commission supported initiative to help prepare companies from Europe and Pakistan (and other Asian countries) to do business with each other and set up strategic alliances particularly promote business co-operation among the Asian and European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Asia Invest Programme invites intermediary Organizations that represent companies such as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Professional and Trade Associations to submit proposals on behalf of their members. To receive funding under the Asia-Invest, intermediary Organizations must submit applications in response to calls for proposals which are published in the EU Official Journal and on the Asia-Invest web site. The proposals are then evaluated and a decision is taken by a European Commission's Selection Committee in Brussels whether a grant should be awarded.

The new calls for proposals have been published for the two main Asia-Invest instruments: the Business Priming Fund and Asia INTERPRISE. These new calls will remain valid until 31 December 1999. It is high time, therefore, for the Chambers of Commerce, professional organizations or sector associations across Pakistan to submi projects at any time between now and then.

The Business Priming Fund provides support and part-financing to groups of EU/Asian enterprises to prepare them for business co-operation. This includes monitoring activities to research new market places and disseminate information about them, language and business culture familiarization courses and technical assistance to companies from less developed countries. On the other hand, the Asia-INTERPRISE/Asia Partenariat events include business to business meetings offering platform to European and Asian SMEs to discuss concrete co-operation projects. At these business matching events, direct contacts between business managers are arranged in the form of bilateral meetings. The Asia INTERPRISE events are sector specific whereas Business Priming Fund activities are area specific.

The Asia Invest Facility also funds country and/or economic sector studies, at the initiative of the European Commission, into investment trends and conditions in Asia in general and Pakistan in particular. Findings are then widely disseminated.

The Asia-Invest Programme Secretariat is located in Brussels. Further information material and/or Asia Invest Membership Application Forms can be obtained either from the EC Delegation in Islamabad or at the following contact address:

Asia-Invest Programme Director Rue Archimede 17, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium.

Tel: +32-2-282 1750. Fax +32-2-282 1760

E-Mail: asia.invest@asia-invest.com

Web Site: http//www.asia-invest.com

Information courtesy of the Delegation of the European Commission, Islamabad.