The North East’s global trade, inward investment and export potential has been showcased as part of an international delegation that welcomed Pakistan’s Consulate General, H E Tariq Wazir, to the region.

Along with Commercial Secretary, Muhammad Akhtar, from the Pakistan High Commission, Mr Wazir toured key commercial development sites including AirView Park with business leaders Ammar Mirza CBE, Mohammed Khaliq (Gainford Group) and Mark Hunt (Newcastle International Airport), as part of ongoing discussions to enhance and shape bi-lateral opportunities as well as strategic collaborations moving forward.

Championing North East businesses across a diverse range of sectors, the reception discussed potential inward investment, job creation and emerging markets and industries whilst visiting the proposed, multi-million pound ‘International Space Station’, a dedicated, centre of excellence ‘trade hub’ soon to be constructed at AirView Park.

The new 10,200 sq ft office development, next to Newcastle International Airport, will help SMEs launch, scale-up and take advantage of export routes whilst also supporting in-bound trade from overseas.

Ammar Mirza CBE, explained, “We are very much looking ahead with great positivity and optimism, and delegation visits such as this one with the Consulate General present a fantastic opportunity to cement those working relationships further and build back stronger together.

“By opening up new collaborative opportunities between the North East, Pakistan and other overseas nations, we can take huge advantage of the export links right here on our doorstep and proactively drive forward our region’s recovery.

“It was an honour to welcome Consulate General Wazir to the North East, and this came on the back of signing a North East and Pakistan-focused, bi-lateral trade agreement with the SME Centre of Excellence. I’m certain this will become the foundation for more mutually-beneficial discussions and new trade partnerships with local and overseas businesses in the future.”

Consulate General of Pakistan, Tariq Wazir, added, “On visiting the SME Centre of Excellence (CofE), I was mesmerized to see the quality of work being done as a leading enterprise support hub in the North East of England. I learned about the impactful initiatives to support and connect SMEs locally and globally to realise their full potential, and also got the opportunity to visit its most current and substantive project at AirView Park.

“Pakistan would like to benefit from Ammar’s experiences and contributions as Executive Chair of the CofE, supporting and uplifting businesses across the UK in the best interests of the excellent relations of our two countries. I wish him the best of luck in this venture and offer my full support to this end.”

Mark Hunt, Chief Financial Officer of Newcastle International Airport, added, “Global trade relations are key to the continued growth of the North East, and as we begin to see a way out of the economic downturn, our export links with countries like Pakistan are very important. Collaborations and strategic partnerships linking local companies with those overseas can help deliver a stronger recovery so Newcastle International Airport, as a gateway to international markets, very much supports discussions like this with potential trade partners.”