ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan will undertake a four-day official visit to Belgium from Sunday during which he will hold multiple meetings and address various forums in Brussels.
While staying in Brussels, the Commerce minister will hold meetings with senior officials of European Commission and members of the European Parliament.
During his meetings, the minister will apprise the concerned officials of the EU Commission and the European Parliamentarians of the growing economic potential of Pakistan in the awake of improved law and order situation and institutional reforms carried out by the government of Pakistan. He will also share improvements achieved in conditions of production sector in Pakistan.
The Commerce Minister will also preside over the Conference of Trade Officers based in Pakistan missions in Europe besides meeting with Pakistani community in Belgium.
Khurram Dastgir will also address a Briefing Seminar entitled “Pakistan’s Changing Reality: An Opportunity for Peace and Development” organized by a prestigious think tank, the European Institute of Asian Studies.
Pakistan has been ranked 52nd ahead from India (60th) among 79 developing economies in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), according to report of World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’, released in Davos on January 16, 2017.
Pakistan’s ranking in terms of Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2016-17 has also witnessed improvement by four notches as it stood at the 122nd position in 2016-17 against the 126th position previous year 2015-16 out of the total 138 countries.
Furthermore, according to Asian Development Outlook 2016 Report, growth forecast for Pakistan has been raised to 5.2 percent for 2017 as in 2016 Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 4.7 percent and was higher than the target of 4.5 percent.
The government’s macroeconomic and structural reform and improved security are counted among major factors for outpacing earlier growth forecast. Inflation and the current account deficit were lower than expected while foreign exchange reserves strengthened and the budget deficit shrank.
Pakistan’s trade with European Union (EU) has acquired significance after the grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan as according to the figures provided by Eurostat, the total volume of trade for 2015 was 10,499 million Euros as compared to 9,603 in 2014 and 8,377 in 2013.
In 2015, exports from Pakistan constituted 6,071 million Euros and imports from EU stood at 4,428.
Likewise, in 2016 for the period January to August, Pakistan’s exports to EU were 4,207 million Euros as compared to 4,088 in the corresponding period in 2015 showing an increase by 3 percent.
Home textiles, clothing, footwear, cotton, surgical instruments, leather and sports goods comprise major portion of Pakistan’s exports to the EU.