Military Attache of Belgium in Pakistan Drik Backen hoped on Monday that the mutual trade between Pakistan and Belgium could rise to $1 billion by 2015.

Talking to the members of Multan Chamber of Commerce Industry (MCCI) along with Honorary consul Walter Mortelmans, he suggested the local businessmen to take up the GSP plus status as a challenge and concentrate on quality production to meet standards fixed for international trade, particularly by the European Union. They hailed Pakistan government’s industrial and economic policies and stressed their implementation. They welcomed the elimination of child labour from industry. “Belgium is keen to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan. It is the fifth largest importer of Pakistani products in the European Union,” Drik Backen added.

Mr Drik said that the prospects for economic and commercial co-operation between Belgium and Pakistan are very bright and this is the right time to strengthen trade relations. He said that the democracy in Pakistan achieved a landmark with the arrival of new Government through ballot and completion of 5 years by the last government. He assured that he would communicate all the positive moves of Pakistan to the authorities in Brussels. He said that the days are not far away when the world will discover Pakistan’s potential for trade and investment. He said that Pakistan is the gateway to Central Asia and that with stability in Afghanistan, Pakistani products may easily reach Central Asian Republics.

Speaking on this occasion, Bakhtawar Tanvir Sheikh,Mian Ata Shafi and Idrees Ahmed Sheikh said both countries must further strengthen economic relations through facilitation of governments and close coordination among private sectors. They said that the volume of bilateral trade had reached $810m in 2012 and emphasized more cooperation at government and private sector levels to further enhance trade and economic cooperation. MCCI’s Ex- SVP Mian Bakhtawar said the EU market had a big demand for items produced in Pakistan.