Naveed Meraj and Shahid Qureshi
ISLAMBAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Privatization Fawad Hasan Fawad has stated that Pakistani exports to Belgium have witnessed an impressive 92% surge since securing Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status in 2013.
Addressing the event organized by the Belgian embassy to commemorate the 75 years of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Belgium, Fawad Hasan Fawad highlighted the remarkable growth and collaboration across various fields between the two nations. He thanked Belgium for its pivotal role in securing GSP status and continuing support in the recent negotiations on the GSP Plus extension.
Fawad Hasan Fawad revealed that Belgium’s exports to Pakistan recorded a substantial growth of 72%, exemplifying the mutually beneficial nature of the GSP status.
The Minister underscored the diverse facets of the relationship, pointing out that beyond trade, Pakistani industries were increasingly sourcing textile machinery from Belgium, creating a win-win scenario for both nations.
Expressing gratitude for Belgium’s role in facilitating additional market access to the European Union, the Minister commended the country’s support for least developed nations benefitting from this relationship. He acknowledged Belgium’s consistent backing, not only for Pakistan but for other nations as well.
Highlighting the excellent diplomatic relations between the two countries, Fawad Hasan Fawad stressed their shared commitment to democracy. He candidly acknowledged occasional concerns about human and labor rights, expressing satisfaction with the constructive engagement on these matters.
Looking ahead, the Minister expressed optimism about elevating the relationship to new heights, fostering increased people-to-people contacts, and encouraging greater engagement among young people in both Belgium and Pakistan.
He highlighted the growing trend of Pakistani students choosing Belgium for higher education, particularly in science, technology, and life sciences.
Belgian Ambassador Calls for Strengthened Relations with Pakistan
Belgian Ambassador to Pakistan Charles Delogne on the occasion said that Belgium highly prioritized its relationship with Pakistan and desired to further consolidate bilateral ties.
He said that Pakistan and Belgium established diplomatic ties in 1948, which strengthened with the passage of time.
The ambassador said that the ambition expressed by the two countries in 1948 was to strengthen the bonds of friendship and mutual interest. A joint bilateral statement issued today, 75 years later, paints a flattering picture. Political dialogue is very frequent.
He said that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Belgium have increased exponentially and multiple human exchanges take place every year.
The envoy said that these exchanges can be measured very concretely by a sharp increase in the consular activities of the two embassies. Friendship between the two people is also very visible by the solidarity demonstrated in case of natural disasters.
Delogne said that both countries share a deep and longstanding mutual commitment. They are convinced that international relations must be governed by law and not by force, and are determined to work together in multilateral fora to address common global challenges, such as sustainable development or climate change, as well as to promote fundamental values like democracy and human rights.
He added that 75 years of positive, shared experiences are an excellent basis to for continuing to build a better world together.
A large cake was also cut to commemorate the event.
It is to be mentioned here that Pakistan and Belgium celebrated the historic landmark of the 75th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year. The Joint Communique, issued on November 26, 1947, encapsulates the decision of the two governments to accept respective diplomatic missions “to strengthen the bonds of friendship and mutual interest.”
Following the historic decision, the two countries opened diplomatic missions in 1948. It is a proud moment, as the goals outlined 75 years ago paved the way for a strong bond of friendship. According to a bilateral declaration issued on the occasion, the upward trajectory of bilateral relations is deeply embedded in people-to-people linkages and frequent high-level contacts at the leadership level. The institution of Bilateral Political Consultation provides a strong foundation for a multifaceted dialogue that holds the potential to deepen this longstanding bilateral relationship. The robust trade between the countries has witnessed continuous growth to mutual benefit.