Mr. Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui, Secretary Ministry of Commerce visited Brussels from Oct 4-6, 2021. The purpose of the visit was to engage with the European and Belgian senior officials & trade associations to strengthen the existing commercial relations.
The Secretary met with senior officials of Directorates General of Trade and Agriculture in the European Commission. The Secretary emphasized upon the continuation of the existing trade regulatory framework for Pakistan under GSP+ regime and apprised the officials about the progress made by Pakistan in implementation of the 27 International Conventions. Both sides noted with satisfaction the trade growth between the EU-27 and Pakistan since the grant of GSP+ status, which has been mutually beneficial. Both sides agreed to continue the positive engagements for the benefit of the consumers and businesses of the respective parties.
In addition to that, meetings were held with the senior officials of Belgian and Brussels Regional Governments and emphasised on the need to enhance engagement through the existing structural mechanisms of bilateral dialogue. It was agreed that the Joint Commission between Belgium and Pakistan should be reactivated and the recently concluded MOU between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and the three leading trade promotion regional agencies including FIT, AWEX and Hub Brussels may be operationalized to provide an enabling environment to the businesses of the two countries.
The senior management of Federation of European Rice Millers (FERM) and European Apparel and Textile Association (EURATEX) met the Secretary and exchanged notes on avenues of further collaboration between the business communities of the two sectors. EURATEX invited Pakistani textile sector to participate in its Annual Convention and for the event of International Apparel Forum (IAF) to be held at Antwerp from 8-9 and 7-8 November 2021 respectively. The Secretary assured that a delegation of leading textile manufacturers and selected SMEs would participate in the forthcoming conventions.
The Secretary held one on one meetings with some of the leading Members of European Parliament and apprised them on the progress made by Pakistan in implementation of GSP Plus related conventions. During his interactions, the Secretary reiterated that Pakistan was committed to abide by all obligations under international conventions covered by GSP Plus. The MEPs appreciated the effort of Government of Pakistan to make an outreach to them and agreed to continue engagements in future.