Belgium mulling sending trade mission to Pakistan

CPEC will serve as a key driver for Pakistan’s economy giving access to Arabian Sea, says Ambassador Verheyden

APP March 22, 2016
CPEC will serve as driver for economy: Ambassador Verheyden. PHOTO: AFP

RAWALPINDI: Belgium Ambassador Frederic Verheyden said that his embassy was mulling the idea of bringing a trade mission to Pakistan in a bid to explore new avenues to promote business relations between the two countries.

Speaking at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) premises, he said that the China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) will serve as a key driver for Pakistan’s economy as it will give access to the Arabian Sea and beyond.

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Verheyden urged the Pakistani traders to think beyond conventional products to improve trade with Belgium. He also asked the private sector to accelerate their efforts to expand the sphere of cooperation with his country.

He said Belgium was cooperating with Pakistan in various sectors among which are energy and infrastructure and assured the chamber of strengthening trade relations between the two countries.

In his address, RCCI Acting President Saqib Rafiq said, “Belgium is the fifth largest trading partner of Pakistan within the European Union, but bilateral trade of around $884 million, does not highlight the true potential of the two countries.”

He said both countries should cooperate with private sectors and raise the trade volume over $2 billion.

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Rafiq suggested that Belgium expertise in various fields was needed in Pakistan’s industrial sector along with their technical cooperation, adding there should be an information desk in the chamber where members could get informational catalogues about Belgium.

He invited the envoy to bring Belgium companies representatives in the upcoming international trade and expo conference being organized by RCCI in August this year.

Notable officials and a large number of traders and industrialists were also present on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2016.

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