ISLAMABAD - The UK government reiterated its support for Pakistan to benefit from the EU's GSP+ scheme, whilst in return Pakistan has pledged to continue to make progress on human rights, labour rights, environment and good governance, in line with the commitments made as a part of the scheme.

This was said in a meeting between the UK diplomats and a number of Pakistan's business-member organisations to discuss strengthening the trading relationship between the UK and Pakistan once Britain leaves the European Union.

Currently the UK supports Pakistan through the EU's trade preference scheme GSP+. This arrangement encourages economic growth and sustainable development in Pakistan. It also helps business and consumers in Britain.

Deputy High Commissioner and UK Trade Director Elin Burns said, "Pakistan and the United Kingdom have a shared ambition to strengthen bilateral trade between our two countries. We are committed to working with the government of Pakistan to ensure a smooth transition in trade arrangements as the UK leaves the EU and, once we have left, aim to enhance those trade arrangements further to encourage more of Pakistan's exporters take advantage of the preferential trade terms to UK markets."

The team from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for International Development (DFID) met with the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), the Karachi Chambers of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to understand Pakistan businesses' experience of utilising the existing preference scheme and to discuss shared ambitions to increase bilateral trade.

This followed a meeting earlier in the week with the Ministry of Commerce where the UK and Pakistan reiterated their shared commitment to increasing bilateral trade including through future trade arrangements.