ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan has assured European Union to adhere to the agreed timelines relating to GSP+, despite the difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan, Ambassador Androulla Kaminara, called on the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, at Ministry of Commerce. 

Talking about the engagement with EU, with reference to GSP+, the Advisor said that Pakistan has stayed focused and will adhere to the agreed timelines, despite the difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasised that the implementation of 27 Conventions are important for Pakistan for their long term national and social benefits.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss various matters related to GSP+ and different avenues of cooperation between Pakistan and EU, particularly for development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), promotion of culture and tourism industries. The Ambassador discussed various ideas for providing support to the freelancers in IT sector, handicrafts and tourism, with the focus on creating linkages within the European Union to open new markets for the products and services.

On possibilities for future cooperation, Mr. Dawood said that there is a lot of potential in Northern Areas for locals to expand the tourist infrastructure. He also endorsed the idea for promotion of IT sector, which is posting a good growth and is being promoted under the patronage of the Government, under the E-Commerce Policy. The Advisor underlined the ideas of building a closer relationship with the EU markets. However, this will require more brainstorming as both sides agreed to hold a separate meeting in this regard.

Secretary Commerce also apprised the Ambassador of various developments and reiterated the commitment of the Government to follow the commitments with the EU. He appreciated the suggestions for further cooperation and underscored that a lot of emphasis is already being put on development of SMEs, under the ‘Pakistan Goes Global’ project as well as the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2020-25. The meeting ended with both sides agreeing to build stronger engagement by exploring more avenues of cooperation in the future.