Fresh Trade diplomacy on cards with EU after Britain withdrawal

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ISLAMABAD, June 29 (APP): In the wake of recent referendum in Britain, Ministry of Commerce will conduct a round of trade diplomacy with the members of European Union in order to strengthen trade relations and augment support in the European Parliament and European Commission.

Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan has directed the Trade Commissioner of Pakistan in Brussels, Omer Hameed to enhance diplomatic contacts with his counterparts, especially with the representatives of countries in Northern Europe, which are traditionally in favor of trade liberalization.

Commercial officers posted in the Embassies of Pakistan in Europe will be issued directions to liaise with respective trade ministries of host countries in order to project Pakistan’s credentials and progress on trade and GSP+ front.

The minister, according to a statement issued by the Ministry, said that it was time for Pakistan to win over new friends and revitalize the old friendships in the European Union to safeguard Pakistan’s interests in the EU Parliament and Commission.

The Minister said that Pakistan’s exports to the United Kingdom under the GSP+ scheme in the European Union will not be affected immediately from the result of the UK referendum.

Pakistan’s exporters to the United Kingdom would to continue as before, the statement added.

United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will be governed by Article 50 of EU Lisbon Treaty, which requires a notification from the withdrawing country; in this case the United Kingdom and this notification has not been issued yet.

After the said notification is issued, Article 50 envisages a minimum of two years before EU treaties and agreements cease to apply to the withdrawing country.

The Minister also held meeting with the Ambassador-designate to France, Moeen-ul-Haq and urged him to conduct proactive trade diplomacy in France.

He also directed him to prepare for a Design Expo in Paris in the spring next year. The Minister said that instead of holding a regular trade exhibition, the Ministry of Commerce will showcase the designing prowess of Pakistani entrepreneurs in jewelry, furniture, fashion, handicrafts, sports and textile design in a modern Design Expo which will have a greater appeal to the artistic taste of French buyers.