LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the GPS plus status for textile exports has largely improved trade ties between Pakistan and European Union.

Talking to Ambassador of European Union in Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain who met him here yesterday, the chief minister said Pakistan and EU enjoyed friendly ties.

“Pakistan gives high importance to the cooperation of European Union in education, health infrastructure and other social sectors. After GSP Plus status Pakistan’s textile industry has got access to European markets and the trade is increasing,” the chief minister said.

He said that GSP Plus points are being effectively implemented in Punjab and a special cabinet committee has been set up for getting maximum benefit from GSP Plus status. He said that a revolutionary programme is being implemented for the empowerment of youth and women in Punjab and positive results are being witnessed.

Referring to the measures taken by the provincial government for the elimination of child labour, the chief minister said that Punjab government has taken effective steps for curbing child labor and he is personally monitoring the performance of the steering committee set up for this purpose.

Commenting on the international report of the Transparency International Shahbaz Sharif said reports says Pakistan is the only country of the region whose international rating has improved with regard to the measures for eliminating corruption. He said that no scandal of the present government has surfaced which is a big credit.

He said that government is taking effective measures for rooting out terrorism and resolving energy problem. He said that the ruthless elements that targeted the future of the nation at Bacha Khan University, Charsadda deserve no leniency and the whole nation is united to eliminate the menace of terrorism.

He said that 18 crore people of Pakistan are fully determined to defeat the enemies of peace. He said that the dream of national progress and prosperity cannot be realized without curbing the scourge of terrorism. He said that terrorists are enemies of the entire humanity and the restoration of peace will result in progress and prosperity in the region.

The chief minister said that in order to check the trend of extremism, revolutionary measures are also been taken on ideological front. He said that topics of tolerance, peace and brotherhood have been made a part of syllabus. He said that besides traditional methods, the government is also striving for generation of energy from renewable resources.

He said that sincere efforts have been made during the last two and a half years for coping with energy crisis and a number of projects will be producing electricity by the end of 2017 which will substantially reduce loadshedding.

Ambassador of European Union Jean Francois Cautain while speaking on the occasion appreciated steps taken for the implementation of GSP Plus. He also lauded setting up of Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory and described it a splendid project with regard to criminal justice system. He said that European Union wants to promote cooperation with Pakistan.

The Ambassador of European Union also presented a report to the chief minister regarding progress on GSP Plus. Provincial Minister for Human Rights Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Secretary Industry, Secretary Labour and concerned officials were also present on the occasion.