ISLAMABAD - "GSP Plus has proved an affirmative success since coming into force in January 2014.

Pakistan's exports to the EU have risen 39% while EU's exports to Pakistan have also risen 39%. It is a mutually beneficial partnership," Minister for Defence and Convener of EU Parliament Friendship Group Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Saturday.

The minister stated made these keynote remarks during a meeting of the South Asia Delegation in the European Parliament, Brussels, said a message received here.

The minister along with a delegation of parliamentarians was on a four-day visit to Brussels. The delegation of Parliamentarians included former Speaker National Assembly Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Chairman National Assembly Commerce Committee Siraj Khan and Chairman Senate Commerce Committee, Shibli Faraz. He emphasized that Pak-EU cooperation was based on shared values of democracy and protecting rights of citizens.

 "Leveraging GSP Plus as an incentive, Pakistan has made tremendous strides in passing legislation and creating institutions that protect rights of vulnerable sectors of society such as women, minorities, and children," he said.

General Mikhail Kostarakos, the Permanent Chairman of EU Military Committee, called on Minister for Defence to discuss creating a permanent Pak-EU dialogue on military and strategic issues. Kostarakos is also due to visit Pakistan in the first half of next month.

Dastgir also held intensive interaction with Brussels-based Belgian, international, and Pakistani media.