LAHORE: Belgian Ambassador Frederic Verheyden has urged Pakistani businessmen to take advantage of Belgium’s expertise in various sectors.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday, the ambassador asked both countries to identify additional areas of cooperation and expand the list of tradable items in order to enhance the mutual trade volume.
“Belgian companies have shown keen interest in the Pakistani market,” he said. “Pakistani businessmen should form joint ventures with their Belgian counterparts.”
He stressed that Pakistan should get the full advantage of Belgium’s unique geographical position in the European Union. There should be further interaction between the two business communities to enhance trade and economic cooperation, he emphasised.
“Pakistan is a beneficiary of the GSP Plus status,” the ambassador pointed out. “Implementation of all conventions under the GSP Plus status will help Pakistani businessmen avail themselves of trade opportunities in Belgium.”
Speaking on the occasion, Wallonia Export and Investment Agency CEO Pascale Delcomminette presented a detailed overview of the Belgian economy, saying Brussels was enjoying massive importance because it was a geographical centre of the European Union.
She pointed out that the country’s productivity was the highest in the world, its exports-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was
85% and foreign trade had played a vital role in its economic progress.
“Belgium is Pakistan’s fifth largest trade partner in the European Union and its companies have shown keen interest in strengthening mutual trade ties,” she said. “Pakistani businessmen should develop a strong liaison with their Belgian counterparts and establish distribution centres and warehouses there.”
Delcomminette said Belgium was a gateway to Germany, Holland, France and beyond. “Catalogue and trade exhibitions can help explore the potential of the two countries,” she emphasised.
LCCI President Almas Hyder said Belgium was the first country of the world which underwent the industrial revolution. He added that Pakistan had the sixth largest population in the world and was a big market for the Belgian business community.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2018.