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UK promises ‘more generous’ market access for Pakistan post Brexit

KARACHI: Britain has promised Pakistan of more generous market access post Brexit than what it currently has under GSP Plus regime, a statement received here from London said on Thursday.

The release said Greg Hands, the UK minister of state for trade policy, also assured Pervaiz Malik, the federal commerce minister, of working with Pakistan to promote it as a safe destination for British investment in a meeting.

Malik is visiting London to represent Pakistan in the “Commonwealth Business Forum” which is an integral part of Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018.
Expressing gratitude for their support in securing GSP plus status with EU, the commerce minister urged British government for a closer trade relation post Brexit.
The statement said the British minister also accepted Malik’s invitation to visit Pakistan down the line.
Apart from this meeting, Commerce Minister attended “Asia Leaders Roundtable Conference” and “Fashion and Textile Event" under Commonwealth Business Forum.
At both the events, the release said, Malik effectively projected Pakistan’s success on the economic front.
He also highlighted the revolutionary changes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) was bringing about in the infrastructure and energy landscape of the country.
Furthermore, Malik also met with Prince Andrew, Duke of York at St. James Palace on the eve of Pitch@PalaceCommonwealth event.
The statement said both the leaders acknowledged close relations between the two countries and agree to cement them further.
The commerce minister, who was accompanied by Pakistan’s High Commissioner Ibne Abbas, also called on Rehman Chishti, Britain’s trade envoy for Pakistan.
Britain, which would exit the European Union in less than a year, is scrambling to cut new trade deals. London is now betting on its erstwhile colonies to help fill up the trade vacuum its exit from the 28-member bloc would create.
According to media reports, Tariq Ahmad, a UK minister, told a committee of British lawmakers last week that the summit provided a “huge opportunity” to advance deals while divorce negotiations with the EU drag on toward the exit deadline of March 2019.
Analysts said Britain was in desperate need of export opportunities and Commonwealth countries could be good destinations to start with.
The Commonwealth is vast — accounting for almost a third of the world’s population, 2.4 billion — and includes countries ranging in size from India, having a population of 1.26 billion, to 100,000-strong Tuvalu and it continues to expand as Gambia rejoined the group in February.

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