Islamabad , Dr. Riina Kionka, the Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, emphasized the need for Pakistan to focus on sustainable economic policies to attract more foreign investment. This statement was made during a meeting with a delegation from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, led by its President, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari. The meeting highlighted the potential of Pakistan as a lucrative market for business and investment activities.
According to Zameen.Com, Dr. Kionka pointed out that the European Union is the largest export destination for Pakistan. She urged Pakistani exporters to fully leverage the benefits of the EU's Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus to enhance their exports. The EU is committed to supporting Pakistan's integration into the global economy by fostering bilateral trade, encouraging direct investment, and aiding in institution building. Furthermore, the EU is actively involved in supporting Pakistan's economic reform agenda in consultation with international financial institutions and plans to expand dialogue and cooperation in addressing Pakistan's energy issues.
Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, emphasized the significance of the EU's apparel import market, which was valued at over €191 billion in 2022. He highlighted that Pakistan, being a major exporter of apparel, could play a crucial role in this sector. Bakhtawari expressed gratitude towards the EU Parliament for extending the GSP Plus scheme to Pakistan until 2027, which he believes will create new opportunities for Pakistani exporters.
Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, highlighted the EU's status as the world’s largest trading bloc and expressed a desire for Pakistan to enhance regional trade in South Asia. He suggested that the EU share its experience with Pakistan in establishing a robust regional trading bloc.
Zafar Bakhtawari, former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Secretary General of UBG Pakistan, proposed that EU countries initiate direct flights with Pakistan to facilitate the promotion of bilateral trade and exports. He emphasized the need for both sides to explore opportunities to expand and enhance existing trade agreements or negotiate new ones to strengthen economic ties.