GENEVA, Switzerland: The Minister for Commerce and Textiles Pervaiz Malik has emphasized the importance of agritrade and agribusiness for developing countries like Pakistan that derive their livelihoods predominantly from agriculture.
While speaking at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum organized by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Switzerland’s City Geneva, the minister stressed the importance of developing agriculture through access to newer technologies, focusing on the rural economy, integration of agrarian countries into global and regional value chains and providing a level playing field to farmers and agriculture exporters from small countries.
The minister also highlighted the significance of climate change and food security for developing countries as major challenges and called for agricultural productivity.
Meanwhile, the minister also held a roundtable with the Friends of E-Commerce for Development (FEDs) – a group of developing countries led by Pakistan and Costa Rica – in Geneva and discussed matters surrounding connectivity and infrastructure for developing countries, and the possible outcomes in this area for the upcoming MC-11 WTO Ministerial Conference in December.
The minister along with a delegation of Parliamentarians from Pakistan including the Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce Siraj Khan, Senator Saud Majeed, and Senator Syed Tahir Mashhadi also met a Parliamentary delegation from the EU Parliament comprising Bernd Lange, Helmut Schulz, Inmaculada Rodriguez-Pinero Fernandez, and MEmma McClarkin for a discussion on matters of bilateral importance, primarily Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus.
Pervaiz Malik explained the benefits to Pakistan and EU from the enhancement of bilateral trade as a result of GSP plus and appreciated the efforts of the EU in this regard. He also showcased the progress made by Pakistan in social development including the progressive work on social and labour rights in the country.