ISLAMABAD, Sept 30 (APP): Pakistan and UK showed complete consensus on the need to continue with the strong commercial relations which exist between the two countries.

Azmat Ali Ranjha, Federal Secretary Commerce who is on an official visit to the UK, to assess post Brexit trade opportunities in the UK, met along with Syed Ibne Abbas,
Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK with Sir Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade (DIT) in London to discuss the modalities of the future trade relationship between the two countries.

His visit schedule includes senior level interactions with Department for International Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), British Parliamentarians, key business leaders and chambers, said a statement received here on Friday.

The British side assured Pakistan of their full commitment to support GSP plus arrangement not only in UK but also in EU.
The Secretary Commerce conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s desire to engage fully with the UK by continuing with the GSP Plus like arrangement in the short term but later on expanding it to a Preferential or a Free Trade Agreement with UK.

Sir Martin Donnelly, Secretary DIT welcomed the idea and assured that the post Brexit UK would be opened to the outside world especially toward countries like Pakistan with
which it has strong historical and cultural linkages.

Both sides showed commitment to continue with an arrangement which could maintain Pakistan’s preferential access to the UK markets on lines similar to the GSP Plus.
It is important to note that UK is an important export destination for Pakistan’s products.

The total volume of merchandise trade between the two countries during the last year was œ1,584 million which includes Pakistan exports of œ1,069 million to UK. The balance of trade is tilted to Pakistan’s favour.

With the renewed commitment showed by the British Government to continue to support current trade arrangement with Pakistan, it is hoped that the volumes of trade will continue to expand and the trade target of œ 4 billion set in the latest review of Joint Trade and Investment Roadmap under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) will be achieved.