PR No. 96Islamabad: December 9, 2015

A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Center for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) in The Hague, Netherlands for the institutional building of TDAP and capacity building of other BSOs Business support organizations in Pakistan and to provide export coaching program to SMEs to meet the requirements of GSP Plus. Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan was present at the signing ceremony.

Mr. Dastgir held a meeting with the Dutch Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Ms. Ploumen in Amsterdam and urged Dutch companies to invest in dairy, horticulture and agriculture and livestock research. The Minister said that Pakistan is 4th Largest producer of milk in the world and wants to benefit from the expertise of Dutch dairy sector

In horticulture sector the Netherlands has developed saline resistant Potato seeds and test results of these seeds have shown positive results in saline lands of Pakistan. The Minister proposed a broader feasible project be designed with joint collaboration of Dutch Government, Government of Pakistan, agriculture universities and also with the involvement of private sector.

Mr. Dastgir invited the Dutch Minister to visit Pakistan and attend the Asian Living Wage Conference (ALWC). The Conference will be an international event about realizing living wages through social dialogue in the textile sector of eight Asian producing countries. Its main aim is to highlight the need for living wages through social dialogue in a tripartite ‘plus’ setting, i.e. linking governments and social partners in Asian countries to international buyers in a joint effort to realize living wages in textile supply chains.

The ALWC will be a 2 -day conference with around 150 participants, most notably high level government officials from the host country Pakistan, Asian countries and OECD governments as well as international brands, manufacturers, trade unions and other stakeholders.

The Minister congratulated the Government of Netherlands for holding the EU Presidency for the upcoming six months and hoped that the Netherlands will play very positive role for strengthening of Socio-Political and Economic relations with comity of nations of the world in general and Pakistan in particular. He also thanked the Netherlands support for Pakistan with regards to award of GSP plus status to Pakistan in 2014 and hoped that it will continue to support Pakistan’s case in the EU in the future as well.

The Minister also attended the ceremony to launch the Netherlands Pakistan Business Facilitation Forum (NPBFF) in The Hague. The purpose of the Forum is the facilitate and create awareness among the Dutch Trade and Investment sectors with regards to opportunities created in the wake of GSP Plus and Pak-China Economic Corridor Investments in Pakistan.

The Minister also attended a seminar on Global Value Chains and presented Pakistan’s case especially in the textile sector. He apprised the gathering regarding efforts of the Government to improve the working conditions in Pakistan. He said that with the grant of GSP+ to Pakistan, there is a growing urgency amongst the businessmen to know and implement good manufacturing practices to make workplaces more safe and accountable. Government of Pakistan and ILO have been partnering for many years to bring meaningful measures into the place. Recently Pakistan has developed Gender Sensitive Inspection System (GSIS) in the form of a web portal which provides database for compliance to about 70 laws. The system is aimed at assisting the Labour Inspectors in their routine inspections by providing measurable indicators for gauging progress against gender-inclusive target.