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PR No.183 MINISTER FOR COMMERCE TO VISIT BRUSSELS Islamabad: January 21, 2017.

The Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan will arrive in Brussels on 22ndJanuary on a 4 day official visit. He will hold meetings with senior officials of European Commission and members of European Parliament and will chair conference of trade officers based in Pakistan missions in Europe besides meeting with Pakistani community in Belgium, says a press release received here today from Brussels.

The Minister will also address a Briefing Seminar entitled “Pakistan’s Changing Reality: An Opportunity for Peace and Development” organized by a prestigious think tank, the European Institute of Asian Studies.  During his meetings, the Minister will apprise the concerned officials of the EU Commission and the European parliamentarians of the growing economic potential of Pakistan in the awake of improved law and order situation and institutional reforms carried out by the government of Pakistan. He will also share improvements achieved in conditions of production sector in Pakistan.

Pakistan has been ranked 52nd, ahead from India (60th), among 79 developing economies in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), according to report of World Economic Forum’s ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’, released in Davos on 16th January this year. Pakistan’s ranking in terms of Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2016-17 has also witnessed improvement by four notches as it stood at the 122nd position in 2016-17 against the 126th position previous year 2015-16 out of the total 138 countries.

According to Asian Development Outlook 2016 Report, growth forecast for Pakistan has been raised to 5.2 % for 2017 as in 2016 Pakistan’s GDP growth was 4.7% and was higher than the target of 4.5 %. Government’s macroeconomic and structural reform and improved security are counted among major factors for outpacing earlier growth forecast. Inflation and the current account deficit were lower than expected, while foreign exchange reserves strengthened and the budget deficit shrank.

Pakistan’s trade with European Union has acquired significance after the grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan. According to the figures provided by Eurostat the total volume of trade for 2015 was 10,499 million Euros as compared to 9,603 in 2014 and 8,377in 2013. In 2015 exports from Pakistan constituted 6,071 million Euros and imports from EU stood at 4,428. In 2016 for the period January to August Pakistan’s exports to EU were 4,207 million Euros as compared to 4,088 in the corresponding period in 2015 showing an increase by 3%.  Home textiles, clothing, footwear, cotton, surgical instruments, leather and sports goods comprise major portion of Pakistan’s exports to the EU.

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