FAISALABAD - United Kingdom (UK) will continue its support for grant of Generalised System of Preferences Plus to Pakistan from European Union, better political and trade relations trade, said Ms. Alison McEwen, the head of Bilateral Team for Pakistan, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, during her visit to Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

She said that for Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and UK, consent of European Union is essential. She, however, said that UK will continue its support for grant of GSP Plus to Pakistan by EU in 2014. She said that FTO will cooperate Pakistan for exchange of trade delegations between the two countries.

Earlier, in his Welcome Address, FCCI PresidentMian Zahid Aslam said UK and Pakistan enjoy unique people-to-people links with over one million British citizens with close family ties to Pakistan. He maintained that UK is the enduring friend to the Government and people of Pakistan and has always vowed to deeper stronger relationship with Pakistan in building up ties in trade, health and education sectors and humanitarian consideration at every test and time. The leading role played by UK Government for EU Autonomous Trade Preferences package to Pakistan is noteworthy.

However, the trade between the two countries is not up to the mark which during 2011 was US$ 2.0 billion where Pakistan’s exports were US$ 1320.52 million against imports from U.K $ 686.26 million. Major export from Pakistan are textiles and textile Made-ups, apparel, cotton yarn and woven fabrics, furniture and mattress while major imports are boiler and textile machinery, iron & steel, Telecom & Electrical equipment, etc. We believe that the volume of trade between the two countries will be increased significantly post-Autonomous Trade Preferences package by EU, he added.

He continued that due to prolonged energy deficit in Pakistan, the power sector offers great potential for investment from British companies for joint ventures and enter into agreement for transfer of technology whereby Pakistani government’s policies are also relaxed for expatriation of profit in total in foreign currency.

SECY INSPECTS WORK AT ROAD PROJECT: Punjab Secretary Communication & Works Maj (R) Azam Suleman visited here and inspected the construction work at an underpass at Abdullapur Chowk. 

Reviewing the pace of construction works, he directed for expediting the construction works for completion of this mega projects within stipulated period.  He directed that construction of all parts of underpass should be carried out to complete the entire project simultaneously.  He took a round of both sides of the underpass and checked the quality of construction works. 

He issued necessary directions regarding the renovation of the underpass and said that Parks and Horticulture Agency (PHA) should be mobilised for the landscaping and beatification of the underpass areas. 

He stressed coordinated efforts of all concerned departments to achieve the successful results for the construction of the underpass.  He directed the Highways Department officers to apprise him of the daily progress of underpass for ensuring completion of daily work schedule.  He asked the Divisional Commissioner and DCO for removing any sort of administrative and technical hurdle in the process of construction work of underpass.  He also inspected the construction work U turns canal bridges and sites of slip roads. He appreciated the decisions of open the Abdullapur Chowk canal bridge for crossing the light traffic and directed that it should be made even and clean for smooth flow of traffic.