LAHORE: The European Parliament will likely grant GSP Plus status to Pakistan in its upcoming meeting scheduled for December, 2013, according to Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Jesper Moller Sorensen.
“Pakistani exports to the European market would get a considerable boost as soon as the country gets GSP Plus status from EU parliament, said ambassador during a meeting with LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday.
Sorensen said Pakistan is a lucrative market with enormous business opportunities, low labour costs, a rising middle class and a large youth population, “Our goal is to increase Danish exports of goods to Pakistan by 40 percent over the next three years,” he said, adding that Denmark is keen on strengthening bilateral trade relations with Pakistan.
“Denmark aims to increase trade ties with Pakistan. To better assist Danish companies on the Pakistani market, the Embassy of Denmark in Islamabad will open a commercial section later this year.”
He went on to add that Denmark could provide state-of-the-art technology to Pakistan in areas such as energy conservation, water conservation, water pumping and water purification to help it overcome challenges in these areas. “All-out support would be extended to Pakistan if Denmark-specific export strategy is put in place by the government of Pakistan.”
The Danish ambassador, however, stressed the need for a new mechanism to improve Pakistan’s perception in the international markets. When asked about the Danish visa policy for Pakistanis, the ambassador said, “We have a very liberal visa regime for genuine Pakistani businessmen. Therefore, they need to explore Danish market and have firsthand knowledge about the available business opportunities there.”
LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said Pakistan, despite its challenges, has a great market potential, while Danish businesses have strong grasps in areas such as wind, life science and health, energy efficiency and dairy production. “Pakistan is a country with a very strong livestock base, while Danish dairy is famous worldwide. Transfer of technology in this area will certainly benefit us. Pakistan is the fifth largest milk producing country in the world therefore investment in dairy products will unquestionably yield results.”
The LCCI President said that Pakistan offers great prospects for foreign investment. “It has a strategic location with abundant raw materials and any investment made in Pakistan will automatically find its way to regional countries.” The total Muslim population of Denmark is well over 200,000. Export of Halal food items from Pakistan to Denmark can cater to the needs of the Pakistani’s and the Muslim community residing there, the LCCI president said. Iftikhar said Danish investors have a great opportunity to invest in the energy sector in Pakistan in the form of joint ventures with local firms or a sole project by Danish investors. While highlighting strong wind corridors in many parts of the country including Sindh, Northern Areas and South Punjab, the LCCI president sought Danish investment and cooperation for energy production.
Source: The NEWS