The Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan visited The Netherlands from 6 to 9 December 2015 to attend a conference on ‘The EU and Global Value Chains (Implementing Sustainable business through aid and trade). Addressing the Conference, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan said that democracy is the most effective guarantor of sustainable development in Pakistan. Pakistan regards the GSP plus as an instrument to foster sustainable development and that there is a lot of similarities between the government’s constitutional obligations towards its people and those arising out of GSP plus that we have given the commitment to implement effectively, he added. He particularly mentioned about the setting up of a Treaty Implementation Cell by the government to oversee the implementation of UN Conventions as a special measure to honour Pakistan’s commitments under GSP plus. He further stated that cooperative and constructive engagement between Pakistan and the EU on GSP plus testifies to the fact that incentives work better than sanctions.
During his visit, the Commerce Minister also held a bilateral meeting with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen. During the meeting, both sides expressed satisfaction at the increased economic cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Khan thanked the Dutch Government for its support on GSP plus and hoped that the latter would continue supporting Pakistan’s case. Recognizing great potential to further enhance and diversify trade and investment between Pakistan and the Netherlands, the two Ministers also discussed various concrete proposals in this regard.
Commerce Minister Engr. Khurram Dasgir Khan, also visited the head office of Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI). During his visit to CBI, he appreciated the role CBI is playing in capacity building of trade institutions and companies in Pakistan. On this occasion, a Memorandum of Cooperation was also signed between the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and CBI, Netherlands.
The Minister for Commerce also visited the Port of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the busiest Port in Europe and acts as a gateway for transportation of goods into many European countries including Germany. Mr. Khan was given a detailed briefing about the history, evolution and future plans of the Port. Addressing the meeting, the Minister for Commerce said that the Government of Pakistan wanted to make Gawadar, Rotterdam of Asia. He said that the Gawadar Port would act as a gateway to South Asia, Central Asia and Western China and would usher in an era of prosperity in the region by improving inter-regional trade and connectivity.
During his visit, Commerce Minister Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan also inaugurated the Pakistan-Netherlands Business Facilitation Forum. Addressing the Dutch businessmen, the Minister highlighted various steps the Government of Pakistan has taken to improve the security situation in the country, put the economy back on track and to connect Pakistan with the rest of the world. He invited the Dutch businessmen to take advantage of business friendly policies in Pakistan.