The European Union (EU) on Friday welcomed the progress made by Pakistan towards implementing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan and Islamabad’s commitment to continue the engagement with the global financial watchdog to address all of the remaining issues.
The EU also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts towards full implementation of the 27 international conventions stipulated under the continental bloc’s unilateral trade preferences scheme – the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).
At a meeting of the Pakistan-European Union Joint Commission, held at the EU Commission Office, both sides agreed to enhance bilateral trade, investment for improving the business climate. During the meeting both sides exchanged views on all existing areas of bilateral cooperation.
The meeting was co-chaired by Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Service, and Noor Ahmed, Secretary of Economic Affairs Division. It was attended by representatives of relevant ministries, the EU’s ambassador to Pakistan and Pakistan’s ambassador to the EU, as well as observers from EU member states.
The participants discussed the long-term socioeconomic impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing vaccination cooperation between EU and Pakistan. The EU officials appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for sustainable economic recovery after pandemic. Both sides also discussed the issue of climate change and cooperation in the fields of education, culture, science and technology.
The EU informed Pakistan about the European Green Deal, connectivity and digitalisation. From the Pakistan’s side, the delegation briefed about various ongoing climate projects, including eco-system restoration, green stimulus and national electric vehicle policy.
While recalling the joint declaration on Afghanistan during the 5th session of the Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue, the EU and Pakistan reaffirmed their strong support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and encouraged the stakeholders to resume negotiations in earnest to achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The EU assured Pakistan of its cooperation and ongoing work towards a durable solution to the issue of Afghan refugees in the country, including assisting in the safe and dignified return of the refugees to their homeland.
Pakistan briefed the EU on the recent developments in the region and reiterated its concerns regarding the human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).