PM intends to strengthen cooperative bilateral ties with the EU

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif underscored the need for sustained relations between Pakistan and the European Union (EU)

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As a move towards strengthening the growing bilateral partnership, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif underscored the need for sustained relations between Pakistan and the European Union (EU), which is one of the biggest export destinations of the country.

Meeting was held between the Prime Minister and the newly appointed EU Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Riina Kionka. The PM highlighted that cooperative bilateral ties with the EU and its member states are of great importance for Pakistan.

The PM also assured that visits to Pakistan by an EU Parliamentary delegation as well as the next rounds of political and security dialogues under EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan would result in more substantive cooperation between the two sides.

Read more: Status of GSP+ extension for Pakistan

Moreover, he commended the present GSP-Plus arrangement for strengthening mutually beneficial trade connections between Pakistan and the 27-member continental bloc. He was optimistic that Pakistan would remain a part of the agreement after 2023.

Dr. Kionka praised Prime Minister for meeting her and underlined her determination to work for the further strengthening of EU-Pakistan relations during her stay in Islamabad.

EU-Pakistan bilateral trade relations are governed by the Cooperation Agreement from 2004. Enhancing bilateral trade and investment is also part of the EU-Pakistan 5-year Engagement Plan from 2012.

Pakistan is a major beneficiary of the trading opportunities offered by the EU Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP). From 1 January 2014, Pakistan benefits from generous tariff preferences (mostly zero duties on two thirds of all product categories) under the so-called GSP+ arrangement aiming to support sustainable development and good governance.

While Pakistan’s economy has significant potential, high costs, complex regulation, and infrastructure constraints all have a negative impact on trade and growth. The trade regime and regulatory environment in Pakistan remain rather restricted.


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