Ambassador of the Netherlands in Pakistan Marcel de Vink has said that his country was keen to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan.

He stressed a need for making an all-out effort to boost bilateral trade, saying that both the countries had been enjoying friendly and cordial relations. The time was ripe to further strengthen the ties, he said.

He was addressing a meeting of Sialkot business community at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, after visiting some leading industrial units in Sialkot. The Netherlands ambassador said that his country was a gateway to Europe, and 6th largest foreign investor in the world.

“We want to see the Pakistani economy growing and developing,” he added. The envoy said that a delegation of leading investors and traders from the Netherlands would visit Pakistan in April 2014 to assess the possibilities of their massive investment and starting some joint ventures in different trade fields in Pakistan.

He said that it intended to have developed and strengthened mutual trade relations with Pakistan, adding that his country would ensure easy access of Sialkot exporters to the EU and the Netherlands markets, in this regard.

Ambassador of Netherlands urged the Sialkot exporters to take GSP plus status as a challenge and concentrate on quality production to meet the standards fixed for international trade, particularly by the European Union. He said that the time was ripe for the Sialkot exporters to take the full advantages of the GSP Plus status and explore and capture the EU markets by exporting their diversified traditional and non-traditional export products.

He said that the Netherlands could be a gateway to Europe for the Sialkot exporters.

On the occasion, SCCI President Dr Sarfraz Bashir said that both the countries must further strengthen economic relations, through facilitation of governments and close coordination of private sectors. He told the visiting ambassador that the Sialkot-made footballs, field hockey sticks, cricket gear, and boxing gloves are used in international games including the Olympics and World Cups. Most of the developed countries imported surgical instruments from Sialkot. “In leather products and textile sportswear, we excel in quality and style.  Similar is the case with other items produced in Sialkot,” he revealed. 

Earlier, the envoy visited industrial units in Sialkot and witnessed the international standard craftsmanship of Sialkot based artisans.