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EU Ambassador lauds EFP’s trade efforts

(fILE)

KARACHI: Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, Ms Androulla Kaminara, has said that the pro-active efforts of private sector representative organisations are important in ensuring a sustainable presence in the global market as well as taking maximum advantage of the trade facilitation accorded by regional blocs or by individual countries.

“The positive initiatives undertaken by the Economic Council of Employers Federation of Pakistan are a step in the right direction and are commendable,” she said.

During her visit to the EFP-EC, the EU Ambassador specifically focused on the EU GSP Plus significance and appreciated that EFP, as a constituent of ILO, is portraying the soft image of Pakistan and the endeavours of those Pakistani exporters who are seriously complying with ILO Labor Standards.

She particularly lauded the pragmatic initiatives that EFP-EC has taken regarding GSP Plus, Minerals to Chemicals, Look Africa, Electricity Markets, Tourism, and Women Empowerment. She also responded favourably to the fact that the UN Global Compact Network Pakistan is under the umbrella of EFP.

The senior EU diplomat advised that it must be incumbent upon EFP to sensitise the private sector as well as workers and government to accord serious consideration to eliminating child labour to set up a mechanism to ensure labour inspection and to enable workers to form unions.

She said it is primarily the responsibility of employers to have a positive outlook and she assured that such efforts would help Pakistan in presenting the case for grant of the next EU GSP Plus status from January 2024.

Ambassador Kaminara appreciated the fact that the Research Department of EFP-EC is an all-female department and also complimented the female researchers for preparing excellent presentations on the various initiatives of the Economic Council.

She advised the research team to also strive by themselves to assist in up scaling the output and ideas of EFP as these can do wonders for Pakistan at international forums especially with regard to women empowerment and trade and industrial development programs.

Earlier, welcoming the EU delegation, President EFP Ismail Suttar said that EFP sincerely believes that closer collaboration with European Union is the practical move forward.  He added that Pakistan has been subjected to long years of being behind international stakeholders and said it is time EFP works with European Union.

Suttar informed that EU is Pakistan’s most important trading partner, accounting for 14.3% of Pakistan’s total trade in 2020 and absorbing 28% of Pakistan’s total exports. Pakistani exports to the EU are dominated by textiles and clothing which account for 75.2% of Pakistan’s total exports to the EU in 2020.

He listed the projects currently being pursued by the Federation. He said EFP advocates that it is important for relevant international stakeholders to have further engagement since Pakistan is now at the forefront of the international community. The private sector must align itself with the compliances required within the international trade framework, he added.

 

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