LAHORE: Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the Netherlands Suljuk Mustansir Tarar has pledged to encourage Dutch investors to explore Pakistan for possible joint ventures and investment in conventional and non-conventional sectors, besides promoting new sectors and areas in exports to the Netherlands.
The newly-appointed Pakistani envoy visited Sialkot on invitation of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association where he held separate meetings at the Sialkot Chamber as well as at the PRGMEA to have detailed discussions on value-added industry’s of export-oriented city.
Addressing the meeting at PRGMEA House, the Ambassador said that the efforts of PRGMEA in promoting value-added exports are commendable. He said that the purpose of his visit to Sialkot was to enhance contacts and exchange information for the promotion of trade between Pakistan and the Netherlands. He took a keen interest in the exclusive product lines of Sialkot, especially the footballs which are played in world cup.
He said that despite the COVID-19, Pakistan’s economy is now growing rapidly but new sectors and areas would have to be explored in export, as textile is the only important imports of Netherlands from Pakistan. He said that Pakistan exports to Netherlands are $1.113 billion which need to be enhanced. He pledged that the trade and commercial counselors would strengthen the liaison with the PRGMEA as well as the Sialkot Chamber.
Earlier, at the SCCI, President Qaisar Iqbal Baryar along with the executive body member welcomed him to the city and briefed the Ambassador-designate in detail on the ongoing activities of the Chamber and product lines of Sialkot.
Later, in his address at PRGMEA House, Central Chairman Sohail A. Sheikh welcomed the distinguished guest and appreciated him for his visit to the PRGMEA and IAF Regional Office. The meeting was attended by the whole business community of industrial hub of Sialkot including all exporters’ associations’ chairmen and representatives, i.e. PRGMEA, Sports Goods Manufacturers, Gloves Manufacturers, Surgical Instruments Manufacturers, Leather Garments Manufacturers and Hosiery Manufacturers Association.
Addressing the meeting PRGMEA Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that PRGMEA’s collaboration with International Apparel Federation, having Head office in The Netherlands, started back in 2008. Moreover in collaboration with IAF, PRGMEA hosted 35th IAF convention in 2019 at Lahore Pakistan, which created a softer image of Pakistan. PRGMEA has also signed MoU with various Dutch organizations like MODIENT, CBI and Hogiaf.
Sohail A. Sheikh added that the PRGMEA has constantly been putting forth its efforts to create a prosperous economic structure for Pakistan and the International Community. He said that textile sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. PRGMEA is the main stakeholder of apparel sector. Apparel industry is playing pivotal role as it’s a major foreign revenue earner, largest employment generator and the highest tax payer segment of our economy. “Currently there are more than 700 members of our Association. PRGMEA’s contribution to export of Pakistan is $3 billion.
Sohail Sheikh said that Pakistan’s GSP Plus status going to be ended in 2023, which helped our country a lot. “We need your assistance to convince the govt of Netherlands in renewing GSP Plus for further 5 years and your perpetual support would greatly benefit Pakistan as a whole,” he demanded. He said that recently the EU Digital COVID Certificate has been introduced in order to facilitate safe and free movement in EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. This certificate will be mandatory for all travelers. The vaccinations approved in order to acquire EU Digital Covid certificate are not available in Pakistan. “We would like to request you to please take up this matter with government of Netherlands to recognize the Vaccination certificates issued by Ministry of National Health Services Government of Pakistan. He said that PRGMEA also needs your help to convince the Embassy of Netherlands to Resume Visa Facilitation, especially for business community, who are frequent travelers to the EU.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021