ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Commerce, Mohammad Pervaiz Malik on Wednesday said that the United Kingdom (UK) is Pakistan’s biggest trade partner in Europe with bilateral trade amounting to 2.08 bn Euros in 2016. Bilateral trade between Pakistan and UK has increased from 1.5 bn Euros in 2013 to 2.08 bn Euros in 2016 that represents an increase of 39%, he said in a meeting with British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew. During the current year, the statistics indicate an increase over 2016, he said in statement issued by Ministry of Commerce here.
Mohammad Pervaiz Malik said that it is a matter of satisfaction for both sides that bilateral trade between the two countries has been increasing over a period of time. “Pakistan’s inclusion in EU’s “Special Incentive Arrangement for good governance and sustainable development” has been the major catalyst for promoting bilateral trade,” Pervaiz Malik added. The Minister said that the UK has been a great supporter of enhanced market access for Pakistani products in the EU. He said that its support was crucial for Pakistan’s inclusion in EU’s GSP+ Scheme in 2014 and then for a successful review in 2016 by the EU Parliament. “Pakistan acknowledges and appreciates the government of the UK decision to maintain the enhanced level of market access available to Pakistan in EU under its GSP+ Scheme after formal exit from the EU”, the minister added. Pakistan’s exports to UK amounted to 1.3 billion euros while imports from UK amounted to 756 million Euros, he added.
The Minister said that the economic and social indicators are on the rise in Pakistan and it offers a lucrative market for investment. British High Commissioner,Thomas Drew congratulated Mohammad Pervaiz Malik on becoming the Commerce Minister and said that the UK will continue its support for Pakistan and is always ready to work on ways to increase bilateral trade between the two countries.