LAHORE: Trade between Pakistan and Belgium has been growing steadily over the years, but there is still potential to maximise the trade and economic ties. Sector-specific measures are required to enhance the two-way commerce to the desired level.
These views were expressed by Honorary Consul of Pakistan in Belgium Luc Meurrens while talking to office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Meurrens lauded the LCCI, saying exchange of trade delegations and organisation of trade fairs were the most effective marketing tools in the fast changing global scenario.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Acting President Khawaja Khawer Rasheed said Pakistan and Belgium enjoyed good diplomatic relations and the latter was an important trading partner of Pakistan in the European Union. He said among the important importing and exporting destinations for Pakistan in the EU, Belgium came at the third and sixth places respectively.
“Traditionally, bilateral trade has been in favour of Pakistan. It is great to see that the trade has crossed over a billion dollars for the first time,” Rasheed said.
In 2015, the level of bilateral trade stood at $817 million, which increased to $1.22 billion in 2016. Increasing trends were witnessed both in imports and exports over the last two years, which led to a healthy transformation in bilateral trade.
“Pakistan’s exports to Belgium registered a 10% increase in a year whereas imports from Belgium went up 154%. I think we need to maintain this trend while focusing more on increasing exports to Belgium,” said an LCCI official.
The acting president was of the view that there were good prospects for undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan with the help of Belgian experience and technical knowhow in the fields of agro-food processing, chemicals, paper and board, dairy and fertilisers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2017.