ISLAMABAD -  Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan in a written reply told the National Assembly that during 2015-16, the total value of imports from China stood at $12105.3 million. Imports from UAE and Saudi Arabia are $5493 million and $2275 million respectively. In the list of top ten, the other countries are Indonesia, Japan, India, USA, Kuwait, Germany and Malaysia.

The minister said France was the seventh major export destination for Pakistani exports in the Single Market of European Union in 2015-16. The major items of exports to France include made-up articles of textile materials, articles of apparel and clothing, knitwear, articles and apparel other then textile materials, hosiery, baby carriages sports goods.

He said due to status of GSP plus, exports of Pakistan to France increased from 694.55 million Euro in 2014 to 768.37 million Euro in 2015. It represented an increase of 10.7 percent in exports of Pakistan to France, but it was not reflected in US Dollar term, due to depreciation of Euro against US Dollar in the aftermath of sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone. Meanwhile, the imports of Pakistan from France increased from 433.68 million Euro in 2014 to 658.67 million Euro in 2015.

Answering a question that whether the government has assessed the impacts of Brexit on Pakistani community in UK and European countries and the possible impacts of Brexit on Pakistan, the minister for Foreign Affairs said that it is an extremely complex issue which is still being examined by the UK and the EU. UK would start negotiations with the EU for its withdrawal in March 2017 and these negotiations could take as long as two years.

He said that as per initial assessment, Brexit will not impact Pakistani community significantly, adding that there are some challenges as well as opportunities. He said that certain trend of right wing populism and xenophobia is evident in Europe due to migration influx, economic slowdown in Europe and increase in unemployment. Brexit may exacerbate the trend, he added.

He said the demand for skilled manpower outside the domain of EU could create opportunities for Pakistani professionals. Britain’s stance on immigration and laws to curb migration should not create problems for the Pakistani community, but those staying illegally in the UK are likely to come under pressure to be sent back, he added. It further said that decline in value of Sterling Pound could result in a fall in the value of remittances to Pakistan from the UK.