ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan and the United Kingdom have reaffirmed commitment to fortify their bilateral trade relations as the two Countries celebrate 70 years of their diplomatic relations.
“We reconfirm our ambition to build shared prosperity between our two countries,” the Minister for Commerce and Textile Muhammad Pervaiz Malik and the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands said in a joint statement.
Delighted to arrive in Pakistan. A huge market, actual & potential. World’s 6th biggest at 207m people & growing middle class. pic.twitter.com/Xw076dmQgX
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) September 18, 2017
The statement said that Pakistan and the United Kingdom enjoy a shared history and a shared future.
“We will do this through our trade policies, and through links between businesses in both countries,” the statement said.
The statement said that currently, the UK supports Pakistan through the European Union’s (EU) trade preference scheme generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus. It said that this arrangement encourages economic growth and sustainable development in Pakistan. It also helps business and consumers in Britain, it added.
The UK-Pak joint statement said that as the UK leaves the EU, we recognize the need to ensure a smooth transition in our trading arrangements. The United Kingdom’s firm intention is to maintain these preferences on a bilateral basis with the generous access to UK markets that it brings, the statement said.
Alongside that whilst the UK is still a member of the EU, the UK will continue to support Pakistan to benefit from the EU’s GSP Plus scheme whilst in return Pakistan pledges to continue to make progress to improve human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance in line with its line with the commitments made as part of the GSP Plus scheme, the statement further said.
It said that the United Kingdom will also help Pakistan break down barriers to trade, and to use the opportunities this brings to create jobs and reduce poverty.
With more than 200 million consumers, Pakistan is an exciting market for British business.
To support UK companies exporting to Pakistan and for Pakistani buyers of UK goods and services, the UK export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), support is to more than double to up to £400 million, meaning an additional £200 million to help UK exporters win, fulfill and get paid for export contracts, and Pakistan’s buyers access finance to source high-quality UK goods and services.
The joint statement said both Pakistani and British governments are ambitious to see more British trade and investment in Pakistan as well as Pakistani businesses exporting to and operating in the UK.
From textiles to pharmaceuticals, engineering and sporting goods, to finance, legal or business services, Pakistan has huge potential in the global economy.
“We are committed to work with businesses in both countries to strengthen these ties into the future,” the statement said.