Feb 02 - 08, 2009

Due to worldwide economic slow down especially in the United States as well as in the European Union, the two major buyers of Pakistan textile products may not be in a position to maintain their import volume of the textile products of the previous year.

Besides declining demand, the electricity crisis were factors affecting performance of the export oriented industries this year, said Danial Jouanneau, French ambassador to Pakistan.

When his attention was invited towards the fact that he had himself identified the power crisis faced by Pakistan why his country is not offering nuclear power generation plants to Pakistan enabling it to overcome the persistent power crisis in the country? The Ambassador stated that in fact Pakistan never approached the France government for acquiring nuclear power generating facility instead Pakistan had been establishing nuclear power stations with the assistance of China.

Speaking at a reception organized by the English Speaking Union of Pakistan in Karachi the Ambassador however disclosed that his government was providing assistance for updating a hydropower project in NWFP, which is too lying idle for quite sometimes.

The ambassador on the back of his vast experience and worldwide exposure, however, advised that peace within the country and harmony with the neighbors was the only way to address economic, social and political problems of Pakistan with concerted efforts of the people in the region. Peace is the secret of all sorts of development and growth needed by the society anywhere in the world hence he suggested that Pakistan and India should open dialogue to resolve issues as early as possible to ensure peace in the region.

Sharing his experiences in Pakistan, he appreciated the growth achieved by Pakistan and the conduct of the people in this country, which is quite friendly and appreciable and that portrays a different picture from what it is being painted outside Pakistan.

The ambassador while acknowledging the well behaved and polished majority of the people in Pakistan which is quite significant for doing business assured that next month he would be making a presentation on Pakistan in his country where he would be telling people to go and visit Pakistan to see by themselves the economic development and opportunities available in the country.

Brushing aside the concerns and apprehensions regarding image of Islam in his country, the French diplomat remarked that the standing of the huge Muslim population in France could be imagined from the fact that over 2000 mosques exist in his country and there was not the slightest difficulties because of them.

In fact, the relation with Islam was not the matter today rather it goes back into centuries and the French scholars have produced various academic volumes on Islam and Muslim world.

When a participant invited his attention towards what he called the role of a silent spectator of France over atrocities and highhandedness of Israel on Palestinian people, the ambassador after a pause said it is not true. Perhaps the largest demonstration over Gaza attacks was taken out in France. Since France has a friendly interaction with Israel our leadership has told them that if they (Israel) did not acknowledge the rights of Palestinian people it would be a great blunder on their part and may lead to serious consequences.

While commenting on English speaking union, the ambassador remarked in a lighter mood that English and French are the two languages, which are the most important in this 21st century.

Every Frenchman now considers it necessary to learn English hence those English-speaking people should also learn French to update themselves.

He said that his country believes in peace, which is quite visible and reflected in the formation of European Union that provides the member countries to trade and export over 65 percent within the region. Another proof of our peace loving tendency is the developing of a common currency Euro by giving up our own well-recognized currencies like mark of Germany or franc of France, he insinuated.

He expressed the hope that the SAARC region would also suit for the peace and good of the people in this part of the world.

He said that Pakistan and India should initiate dialogue as early as possible to defuse tension and to help promoting peace in the region, which also is a primary right of the human society all over the world.


The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $ 10,207.9 million on 24th January, 2009.

The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: $ 6,872.9 million
ii) Net foreign reserves held by banks (other than SBP): $ 3,335.0 million
iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: $ 10,207.9 million