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imageISLAMABAD: Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Thursday said that Pakistan and its neighbours should learn from the experience of European Union to live in peace with one another.

He was speaking as chief guest at a reception hosted by acting Head of the delegation of the European Union, Stefano Gatto and Mrs Maria Isabel de Aracil to mark the European Day here at a local hotel.

The Minister for SAFRON congratulated the EU countries, as on this day the European Union was created in the aftermath of two World Wars, because the wisdom had dawned upon the EU leaders to forge unity and get together for achieving development in a peaceful and congenial environment.

Acting Ambassador of the European Union in his brief remarks on the occasion said that EU's commercial ties with Pakistan were getting stronger and stronger as EU was its big trading and development partner.

Referring to the Naltar helicopter crash, he said, the EU Day was postponed from May 9 to May 28 because of the tragic incident.

All the diplomatic community remembered Ambassadors of Norway, Philippines and Indonesia as well as the wives of the Ambassadors of Indonesia and Malaysia, who lost their lives in the incident, he added.

Talking about the European Day, the EU Ambassador said that it was the day when EU was created, initially six states as its members, has now swelled to 28 countries.

He said the EU was created in response to the terrible wars, but the EU leaders transformed the centuries of fight into unity, peace and prosperity, adding, for the last 55 years, the EU countries were living in peace and prosperity.

National anthems of Pakistan and EU were also played on the occasion. The reception was attended among other by politicians, diplomats of European, Asian and Muslim countries beside members of the civil society.

Pakistan and EU have expanding economic relations especially after the latter granted Islamabad the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP-Plus) from January last year. It has given Pakistani and European businessmen an opportunity for exploiting the potential for increasing trade between the two sides.

Pakistani exports to EU should not only be confined to just bed linen and towels but should also include ready-made garments of good quality because there was higher profit margin.

Pakistan was better placed in the region as both China and India did not enjoy GSP facility. EU is one of the big trading partners of Pakistan as it takes over 21 per cent of its total exports.

The current overall trade between the EU and Pakistan was 8.5 billion Euros per year which was slightly surplus in favour of Pakistan and was expected to rise in the coming years.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2015

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