Pakistan to look beyond CPEC amid Post-Brexit scenario to diversify exports: experts

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ISLAMABAD, May 11 (APP):Pakistan, while focusing on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), should also look beyond in European Union (EU) countries amid scenario evolving in the aftermath of Brexit formalization due in next year.
EU is market of 460 million people and Pakistan should explore more markets and tap the trade and investment potential in EU countries.
For that Pakistan need to build its positive image, enhance engagements with EU countries and improve its human rights status which would help EU businesses to invest in Pakistan.
This was stated by experts during the seminar titled “Post-Brexit trade relations in European Union: Implications for Pakistan”, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Pál Belényesi, Managing Director, Brussels Consulting and Independent Scientific Advisor to European Parliament said Pakistan should explore more options for trade and expand its export markets, as relying on single trading partner ‘China’ is not as wise.
He said Pakistan’s economy was not diversified enough and that Pakistani industries should be open to transformation to reap maximum trade benefits.
He said at this point in time EU is Pakistan’s largest trading partner when it comes to net trade balance and contributes almost 25 percent of total Pakistan’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
By diversifying exports destinations, upgrading manufacturing and value addition in the products such as minerals, pharmaceutical, electronic components and automobile products, Pakistan can gain more from trade with EU countries in post-Brexit scenario, he added.
Dr Pal further said that to improve trade and investment ties with EU countries in post-Brexit scenario, Pakistan needs to improve its human rights situation including rule of law and access to Justice.
Speaking earlier, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI said Pakistan’s exports to the UK have been on a gradual increase largely due to the GSP+ facility provided by the European Union (EU).
He said although, UK has given assurances that after its exit from EU it will continue some preferential treatment for Pakistan’s exports coming to the UK, however, the government of Pakistan will need to engage vigorously with UK counterparts in order to make such a preferential arrangement a reality.