LONDON - The merchandise trade volume between Pakistan and the United Kingdom during the calendar year 2017 has increased to over £ 1.93 billion showing an increase of 8 percent when compared to 2016, Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission London, Sajid Mehmood Raja, said Tuesday.

"During the year 2017 Pakistan's total exports to the United Kingdom reached over £1.24 billion which also showed an impressive growth of 8 percent as compared to previous year," Sajid Mehmood Raja said. "Our trade surplus with the UK has increased by 5 percent," he added. He said the export of textile sector products showed strong growth, mainly in the knitted garments, followed by non-knitted garments and home textile products.

Sajid said strong growth was witnessed in the export of cereals, particularly rice, to the UK. He said due to proactive efforts of the Pakistan High Commission, the British government had given a commitment that post-Brexit, Pakistan would continue to enjoy similar market access which it was currently enjoying under GSP Plus. This development, he said, had removed the element of uncertainty and further boosted Pakistan's exports to the UK market.

It may be mentioned that the UK is an important trading partner of Pakistan. It the third largest destination of the Pakistani exports globally and the top destination within the European Union (EU) countries.

Within EU, Sajid said, the UK was also the main source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan.

The upward trajectory in the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK would further bolster their trade and economic relations, he added.