Pakistan and Belgium, on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced bilateral cooperation in the areas of business and investment.
The historic MoU was signed between the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the trade and investment bodies of three regions of Belgium, namely the Flanders Investment and Trade; Wallonia Export Investment Agency and Brussels Agency for Business Support in Brussels, a message received from Brussels said.
This is the first time that all three regions of Belgium have jointly signed an MoU with any other country.
On behalf of TDAP, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, and Luxembourg Mrs. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi signed the MoU, whereas Mr. Dirk Van Streeteghem, Ms. Chantal De Bleu, and Mr. Laurent Lamberts signed the documents for the three agencies, respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Hashmi said that trade between Pakistan and Belgium was constantly rising and for the last year there has been an increase of 49% in bilateral trade.
She said that Pakistan’s economy had taken an upward trajectory and the country was fast emerging as a suitable destination for trade and investment.
She added that the MoU was long awaited and would provide a very good foundation and framework for enhancing economic and trade ties between the two countries.
The Ambassador further added that the present government’s policy was to create a conducive environment for business in Pakistan and a liberal visa regime would soon be introduced to facilitate business visits to Pakistan.
Dirk Van Streeteghem, Director for Trade, Flanders Investment and Trade said that there has been a significant rise in the trade relations between the two countries which was evident from an ever-increasing exchange of trade missions.
Ms. Chantal De Bleu, Director General Wallonia Export Investment Agency, who visited Pakistan in November 2018, said the trade mission last year was a big success and added that the MoU could help in taking up diversified actions for the mutual benefit of two countries like cross-market networking.
Laurent Lamberts, Head of Exports Unit Brussels Agency for Business Support said that Pakistan was a growing economy and his agency would be interested to help Pakistani businesses for trade and investment in the Brussels region.
Senior Pakistan Embassy officials including Minister Economic Omar Hameed, Commercial Secretary Salman Ahmed Choudri, Pakistan’s Honorary Consul General for Trade in Ghent Ms. Karin Zoeter and Honorary Consul General in Antwerp Mr. Luc Maurrens attended the signing ceremony beside representatives of various businesses and trade and investment agencies.