Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Philippe Bronchain has said that trade, investment, economic and friendly relations between the two countries are very important to him and he has a mission to make these stronger.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh presented the address of welcome while Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar, Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad, Trade Commission of Belgian Embassy Abid Hussain, LCCI former Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, Executive Committee Members Haji Asif Sehar, Haris Attiq, Aaqib Asif, M. Arshad Khan, Sh. Sajjad Afzal, Wasif Yousaf, M. Nusrat Tahir and Zeeshan Sohail Malik also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said, Belgium and Pakistan enjoy over 70 years of cordial relations, which have gradually expanded over the past decades.
He said that Belgium has always emphasized the importance of trade and investment and people-to-people contacts.
He said that the bilateral trade between Belgium and Pakistan has more than doubled over the last decades that can be supplemented through joint efforts.
He said that both countries should identify more areas for cooperation and should also introduce more tradable items to enhance mutual trade volume.
Pakistan should take full advantage of best geographical position of Belgium in European Union.
He said that there should be more interaction between the business communities of the two countries to enhance trade and economic cooperation.
Pakistan is the beneficiary of GSP plus Status and should avail full benefit from this facility.
LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Pakistan and Belgium have very cordial diplomatic relations and both the countries have been steady trading partners as well.
The LCCI President said, both countries need to make joint efforts to reverse this trend especially targeting to take the level of bilateral trade to at least 2 billion dollars.
Pakistan has been experiencing favorable balance of trade with Belgium and we wish to maintain it.
“We must find ways to enhance the current level of trade through identifying more items of trade”, he said.
The LCCI President added that there are good prospects for undertaking joint venture projects in Pakistan with the help of Belgian experience and technical know-how in the fields of agro food processing, chemicals, surgical instruments, paper and paperboard, dairy, fertilizers and many more.
Trade Commissioner of Belgium Abid Hussan said, Belgium highly encourages Pakistani business community to have joint ventures with their counterparts in Belgium.
He said that though there are dips in bilateral trade of both sides but this is a normal thing.
There is an overall business compression in Pakistan which affected the trade between the two sides as well.