France-based carmaker Renault Group has announced the signing of an agreement with Al-Futtaim for the assembly and distribution of cars 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 Fabrice Cambolive (pictured, left), Renault’s chairman of the Africa Middle East India region. “By partnering with Al-Futtaim, a very professional and renowned automotive partner, Groupe Renault aims to become a major player in Pakistan.”

Under the agreement, Al-Futtaim, through its new subsidiary Al-Futtaim Automotive Pakistan (Private) Limited, will establish a new manufacturing and assembly plant to Renault Group’s standards and exclusively distribute Renault cars in the country.

The two companies expect construction of the plant to begin in the first quarter of 2018 in Karachi. Car sales are planned for 2019, with ramping-up during the course of 2020.

“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,” said Len Hunt (pictured, right), president of Al-Futtaim Automotive.

Completion of the agreement remains subject to a number of conditions, including regulatory approval by the Pakistani authorities.

Al-Futtaim was established as a trading business in Dubai in the 1930s. Today it operates in 29 countries, including North Africa, Asia and East Africa.

According to the company’s website, it has automotive-related activities in 11 markets that range from distribution to logistics and manufacturing for a number of well-known automotive brands.