ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasised the importance of Pakistan’s commercial ties with the European Union and expressed his hope that the GSP Plus programme, a preferential investments and trade policy that is slated to expire next year, would be extended through 2023.
The prime minister made these statements at the Prime Minister House during a meeting with Dr. Riina Kionka, the recently appointed delegate of the European Union to Pakistan.
Since the existing GSP Plus arrangement is advantageous to both Pakistan and the EU, trade relations should be strengthened. According to the statement released following the meeting, Pakistan would remain a part of the agreement after 2023. He stated that the connection needed to be strengthened even more by continuing high-level interactions among Pakistan and the European Union.
The prime minister expressed hope that the upcoming visits to Pakistan by EU parliamentary delegations, as well as the upcoming rounds of political and security dialogues under EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan, would pave the way for even more substantial cooperation between the two sides. He recalled his recent phone conversations of EU Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
When talking about Afghanistan, PM Sharif emphasised the need of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. In addition, he emphasised Pakistan’s “exceptional degree of collaboration” with the international community about Afghanistan, particularly following the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August of last year.
During the summit, Dr. Kionka reaffirmed her commitment to continue expanding relations between the EU and Pakistan.