KARACHI  - Holland’s Ambassador to Pakistan Gajus Scheltema disclosed that a powerful lobby of international fish exporters was strongly opposing the exports of fish from Pakistan to the European Union countries.

Talking to mediamen in Karachi he said that the international fish exporters lobby was actively involved in creating obstacles in the way of Pakistan’s fish exports to EU nations.

When asked to name the lobby, the Dutch Ambassador said that the leading international exporters do not want to see fish exports from Pakistan. He, however, that Netherland was assisting the Balochistan government to develop Pasni Port and Fish Harbour that would help Pakistan to enhance fish exports to European Union countries. He pointed out that a firm, engaged in the exports of fish, had demanded license to export fish from Pasni to EU.

Scheltema pointed out that the government of Japan had provided a grant of Rs800 million for the rehabilitation of Pasni Fish Harbour in Balochistan. Holland is engaged in rehabilitation of the harbour so that it meets the required international standards to export fish to EU and other countries in the world.

He said that the Japanese grant would be utilised for the procurement of a dredger; maintenance and dredging of the harbour; and extension and improvement of the breakwater.

Holland’s Ambassador further stated that his country could invest in agriculture, dairy and livestock in Pakistan. He said that Holland is one of the leading producers and exporters of dairy and livestock products in the world. He said that Holland and Pakistan should explore the agriculture, dairy and livestock sectors for mutual investment.

Some Dutch companies are willing to explore avenues of investment in these areas in Pakistan and the companies could export agriculture, dairy and livestock products to European Union.

He said that Holland was keen to enhance trade with Pakistan and also supporting Pakistani business people who seek to export to the Netherlands.

Scheltema said that their ‘Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries’ was educating Pakistani exporters for improvement of their products to export level quality.

He said that Pakistan has a huge potential in agriculture and food processing sector and Holland is planning to invest in these sectors. He also pointed some trade hurdles in importing of cows and cattle from Netherlands to Pakistan.

He further said that Holland was willing to help government of Pakistan in promoting the wind energy in the country. He said that he had recently met the Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and apprised him of the Dutch companies interest in developing wind energy projects in Pakistan.

Scheltema said that Holland had strongly supported Pakistan in getting the GPS+ facility from the European Union that would help this country to enhance its textile exports share to EU markets. He said Holland was enjoying very cordial relationship with Pakistan and he was making efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Holland plans to earmark 30 million euros for clean drinking projects in urban cities and some other water-related projects in Pakistan, he said.

He said Holland had already worked in various water sector projects and keen to invest in water management, flood control, clean drinking water, waste water treatment and de-silting projects.