Pakistan seeks to diversify trade with France

Trade between two sides has registered steady growth in recent years

Our Correspondent May 26, 2022
Pakistan has inked Preferential Trade Agreements with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan which will provide it access to huge market of 72 million people. PHOTO: FILE


Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar has said that Pakistan values its historic, friendly and cooperative relationship with France and wishes to strengthen and diversify bilateral trade and economic linkages in the coming years.

He was talking to French Minister for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness Franck Riester on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce. The minister, who was on a visit to the EU member states, said Pakistan-France trade had registered a steady growth in recent years and emphasised that Pakistan’s strategic location, fast developing infrastructure and the liberal investment policies made the country an attractive destination for foreign investors.

Qamar said that since its launch in 2014, the GSP Plus scheme had helped in creating an enabling environment for the implementation of 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance in the beneficiary countries, besides increasing employment opportunities, especially for women.

He highlighted the scheme’s importance for Pakistan’s economy, particularly for the export sector. He appreciated the support of European member states, especially France, for securing the GSP Plus status in 2014 and hoped that the upcoming GSP Plus 2024 scheme would further strengthen the mutually beneficial trade ties between Pakistan and the EU.

“Pakistan wishes to remain constructively engaged with the EU and its member states to further enhance commercial relations and cooperate in terms of protection and promotion of social, economic, and other rights of the people of Pakistan,” he affirmed.

The minister pointed out that Pakistan’s exports to France were dominated by the textile sector, but there was immense potential to diversify trade to other sectors such as agriculture, dairy, clean energy, digital economy and start-ups. Earlier, the commerce minister met with Senator Pascal Allizard, Pakistan-France Friendship Group President in the French Senate, and discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries.

He also visited the headquarters of Medef International, the largest association of French companies. The minister held discussions with the representatives of French businesses that were already working in Pakistan and interested in doing business with Pakistan. These included Axens, Bureau Veritas, L’Oréal, Sanofi, Phenixya-Thomson Broadcast, Stellantis, Adit and Sergi France.


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