Malaysia Sun | Thursday 23rd August, 2007
Pakistan seeking parity with India surprises EU envoy
Islamabad, Aug 23 : The European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Jan De Kok has said that there is a huge difference between India and Pakistan economically, and he is surprised by Islamabad’s demand to be treated equally with New Delhi.
"It surprises me when Pakistan sees India as a benchmark for trade talks with EU. There is a huge difference between Pakistan and India economically. The Indian economy is a larger one," Kok responded when asked about the possibility of Pak-EU FTA talks.
Commenting on FTA talks with India, South Korea and ASEAN countries, Kok said that the EU member countries have decided after a long debate to initiate talks with the two leading countries of the regions of South Asia and ASEAN.
He said Pakistan is one of the major trading partners of EU and both sides are discussing further increasing the bilateral trade.
We have initiated a joint study to see ways and means of further improving the economic and trade relations, The Nation quoted Kok, as saying.
He said that the exports from Pakistan are of low quality, and wanted it to improve in order to face competition from India and China in the EU market.
He made it clear that there is no road blockades or hurdles in the way of Pakistani exports to the EU market, but suggested that Islamabad should diversify its exports by concentrating more on the value addition and maintaining quality and standards to continue exporting to EU.