Islamabad, November 20, 2013 (PPI-OT): Minister of State for Commerce, Textile and Privatisation Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan left for Eastern Europe today to begin a fresh round of economic diplomacy to ensure a favourable majority in the EU Parliament in anticipation of a plenary vote in mid-December 2013 on grant of GSP Plus trade preferences to Pakistan for three years.
The visit to Eastern Europe follows a successful round of economic diplomacy in October at the European Parliament in Strasbourg as well as in Paris, Madrid, Rome and London. Minister of State Khurram Dastgir khan led the joint effort between Commerce and Foreign ministries, which resulted in a positive, pro-Pakistan vote in the International Trade Committee (INTA) of the EU Parliament earlier this month.
“PMLN government has already achieved the two milestones of successful votes in the EU Council in October and at INTA in November. By engaging friendly countries across Europe, we shall Inshallah achieve the formal grant of GSP+ in December. Although the immediate objective is to ensure a smooth vote for grant of GSP Plus to Pakistan by plenary EU Parliament, this visit will also include serious exploration of increasing mutual trade between Pakistan and Eastern European countries,” Khurram Dastgir Khan told reporters on the eve of his departure.
Grant of GSP+ by EU is likely to add US$700million to $1billion to Pakistan’s exports. One million new jobs are expected to be created, boosting the textile sector and delivering on PMLN’s electoral promises to improve the national economy.
Minister of State for Commerce, Textile and Privatisation, Eng. Khurram Dastgir Khan will visit Rumania, Czech Republic and Poland in this round. The three Eastern European countries form a large block of votes in the EU Parliament.
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