ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce and Investment, Syed Naveed Qamar, visited Brussels on May 22-23, 2022.
He held meetings with key members of the European Parliament (MEPs), senior officials at the European Commission and Secretary of State for the Brussels region.
In his engagement with members of the European Parliament and the Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, the Minister underscored that Pakistan and the EU enjoyed excellent relations, which were based on mutual respect, trust and common interests. He emphasised that strong trade and investment cooperation were important components of Pakistan-EU strategic partnership. He added that economic stabilization and growth were the key priorities of the current government and the EU remains a key partner for Pakistan to realize these objectives.
Minister Qamar highlighted that the GSP Plus was an excellent template and a success story of mutually beneficial cooperation, as Pakistan’s export to the EU increased by 86 percent and EU’s exports to Pakistan grew by 69 percent, since inception of the scheme in 2014. He expressed the hope that the new GSP Plus regulation would continue to focus on its central tenets of supporting sustainable development, poverty alleviation and good governance in the beneficiary countries.
The Minister stressed that Pakistan was keen to further deepen and broaden its multi-dimensional partnership with the EU, especially in the economic and trade domains.
The MEPs thanked the Commerce Minister for his visit and agreed to work together in further strengthening Pakistan-EU relations, including enhanced parliamentary exchanges.
During his meeting with Pascal Smet, Secretary of State for the Brussels region, Minister Qamar appreciated the positive trajectory in the overall bilateral relations, including substantial growth in bilateral trade. Smet expressed satisfaction at the strengthening bilateral relations and thanked Pakistan for its support and facilitation for Belgium’s evacuation Operation from Afghanistan.
Minister Qamar invited Smet to lead an economic mission to Pakistan to explore cooperation in the areas of retail, chemicals, construction, telecommunications and food industry.
The Commerce Minister will also be visiting other major EU capitals including Berlin, The Hague and Paris.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022