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PR No. 268 SECRETARY COMMERCE OF PAKISTAN AND BRITISH PERMANENT SECRETARY AT THE DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREE ON STRONG COMMERCIAL RELATIONS Islamabad: September 30, 2016

Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha, Federal Secretary Commerce is on an official visit to the
UK, to assess post Brexit trade opportunities in the UK. His visit schedule includes
senior level interactions with Department for International Trade (DTI), Foreign
& Commonwealth Office (FCO), British Parliamentarians, key business leaders and
chambers, says a press release received here today from London.

On 29 September 2016, Secretary Commerce along with H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas,
Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK met with Sir Martin Donnelly, Permanent
Secretary at the Department for International Trade (DIT) to discuss the
modalities of the future trade relationship between Pakistan and the UK in the
backdrop of Brexit.
During the meeting, the two sides showed complete consensus on the need to
continue with the strong commercial relations which exist between the two
countries. The British side assured Pakistan of their full commitment to support
GSP plus arrangement not only in UK but also in EU.
Secretary Commerce conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s desire to engage fully with the UK by continuing with the GSP Plus like arrangement in the short term
but later on expanding it to a Preferential or a Free Trade Agreement with UK.
Sir Martin Donnelly, Secretary DIT welcomed the idea and assured that the post
Brexit UK would be more open to the outside world especially toward countries
like Pakistan with which it has strong historical and cultural linkages. Both
sides showed commitment to continue with an arrangement which could maintain
Pakistan’s preferential access to the UK markets on lines similar to the GSP
Plus.
It is important to note that UK is an important export destination of Pakistan’s
products. The total volume of merchandise trade between the two countries during
the last year was   £ 1,584 Million which includes Pakistan exports of £ 1,069
Million to UK. The balance of trade is tilted in Pakistan’s favour. With the
renewed commitment showed by the British Government to continue to support
current trade arrangement with Pakistan, it is hoped that the volumes of trade
will continue to expand and the trade target of £ 4 Billion set in the latest
review of Joint Trade and Investment Roadmap under the Enhanced Strategic
Dialogue (ESD) will be achieved.

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