ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Federal Minister for Commerce and Investment Syed Naveed Qamar on Wednesday said that Pakistan and Belgium enjoyed a cordial and friendly relationship which was based on shared values of democracy, pluralism, mutual respect and close cooperation.
The minister met Minister-President of Flanders Jan Jambon in Brussels. Ambassador of Pakistan to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan and other officials were also present during the interaction, said a press release.
During his meeting with Jan Jambon, the minister said that the Pak-Belgium partnership had grown stronger in diverse fields, including political, economic, educational and people-to-people contacts.
Elaborating on Pakistan-Belgian trading relations, minister Qamar highlighted that with a trading volume of US$ 1.2 billion, Belgium was the 10th largest trading partner of Pakistan and the 5th largest among the EU member states.
He hoped that increased B2B level Interactions between Pakistan and Belgium would help in exploring new opportunities for investment in a number of areas like petrochemicals, construction, chemicals, logistics and textiles.
Minister-President Jan Jambon reaffirmed his readiness to remain engaged with a view to playing a facilitative role in enhancing cooperation between the two countries.
In his meeting with EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius, Syed Naveed Qamar stressed that the government of Pakistan had identified the fishing sector to diversify its export portfolio.
He underlined that Pakistan wanted to develop its blue economy with the cooperation and assistance of the EU through technical and financial assistance.
The minister emphasized that Pakistan was at ground zero of the climate crisis, despite contributing less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gases. He elaborated that the country had been suffering extreme weather events and had suffered from droughts, forest fires, severe and prolonged heat waves as well as unprecedented and prolonged monsoon rains, which resulted in catastrophic floods.
The minister also held separate meetings with key members of the European Parliament including the Chair of South Asia Delegation, MEP Nicola Procaccini, Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee MEP Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Vice President of the Parliament MEP Pedro Silva Pereira, and MEP Herve Juvin.
In his meetings, minister Qamar, emphasized that sustained preferential market access would play a critical role in helping Pakistan achieve its economic rehabilitation, growth and development objectives, particularly in the aftermath of the devastating climate-induced catastrophe.