ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark here on Thursday said that Pakistan would get the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus status by the end of this year which will give a better market access of Pakistani products to EU markets.

Addressing at a dinner hosted by ICCI in honor of EU Ambassadors designated in Pakistan, he said that Pakistan and EU are enjoying deep rooted political and economic relations as EU has supported Pakistan in a number of sectors.

A statement issued by ICCI said that Ambassador of Greece, Petros Mavroidis, Ambassador of France, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK Deputy Head of Mission and Swedish Deputy Head of Mission have also attended in the dinner.

Ambassador of Greece, Petros Mavroidis said that Pakistan and Greece needed to improve their commercial and economic relations to promote bilateral trade and investment by taking advantage of new business opportunities.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Romania, Emilian Ion lauded the devoted efforts of ICCI head for strengthening bilateral relations between Pakistan and Romania.

He said that business communities of Pakistan and Romania have to play a vital role for the promotion of bilateral trade and their greater mutual interaction is needed to achieve the ultimate objectives.

Pakistan has unique geographical and strategic geo-political location and considered to be the hub of trade in South Asia, therefore, EU countries should also consider Pakistan for enhancing trade and investment, he added.

President ICCI Zafar Bakhtawari apprised that EU is the largest trading partner of Pakistan with an annual trade volume of over 10 billion euros. He said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with the EU regional block as its annual GDP accounts $17 trillion which was higher than GDP of US which is around $ 15 trillion and China’s GDP of $ 7 trillion.

ICCI President said that European society is very liberal and transparent which give equal opportunities to its citizens to become member of parliaments, adding that its quite appreciative that even Pak-origin people are the members of Britain, Denmark and Norway’s Parliaments.

Bakhtawari urged all the EU Ambassadors designated in Pakistan to support Pakistan for grant of GSP plus status which would provide easy access to Pakistani products in EU market and further enhance Pakistan’s volume of trade with EU countries.

He said that EU is also considering signing of a FTA with India, therefore, EU should also grant GSP plus status to Pakistan before such arrangements which would improve the bilateral trade volume. ICCI President also urged all the EU Ambassadors to promote the direct air link between Pakistan and Capitals of EU countries by using their national air-lines.