Groupe Renault and Al-Futtaim have inked definitive agreements for assembly and distribution of the French automaker's vehicles in Pakistan.

"Groupe Renault is delighted to extend its international footprint by entering Pakistan, a fast-growing market with a 10% annual growth rate,"said Renault Africa, Middle East India SVP and chairman, Fabrice Cambolive.

"By partnering with Al-Futtaim, Groupe Renault aims to become a major player in Pakistan. We aim to bring our latest products and technology and set new benchmarks of safety and quality in the market," 

For his part, Al-Futtaim Automotive president, Len Hunt added: "With a population of over 200m, a fast-growing economy and a vibrant middle-class, Pakistan is undoubtedly a very important strategic growth market for us.

"We are very excited to represent Groupe Renault which is among the top automotive brands worldwide and a leading European car manufacturer entering this market. We will endeavour to add real value to the Pakistani auto sector and consumer and to create a world-class organisation in Pakistan."

The agreements will see Groupe Renault bring its products and technological know-how, while Al-Futtaim, through its new subsidiary Al-Futtaim Automotive Pakistan (Private) Limited, will establish a new manufacturing and assembly plant, exclusively distributing Renault cars.

Al-Futtaim global automotive operations extend to 11 markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Finalisation of the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, mainly relating to relevant regulatory approvals from Pakistani authorities.

The parties expect the plant will be built starting in the first quarter of next year in Karachi and car sales are planned to start in 2019, ramping up in 2020.

Established in the 1930s as a trading business in Dubai, Al-Futtaim employs 42,000 people and operates in 29 countries through more than 200 companies.

The Group has significantly expanded its business operations through an acquisition plan and has entered a number of new territories, increasing its footprint beyond the GCC and Greater Middle East regions to encompass North Africa, Asia and East Africa.

The business is structured into four operational divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate and retail.

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