ISLAMABAD:The European Union is to resume imports of seafood from Pakistan, officials said, ending a six-year suspension imposed over hygiene fears.
Pakistani fish exports to the European Union were worth 50 million euros a year until European food officials in 2007 identified “serious deficiencies” in hygiene and quality checks on seafood.
The government's fisheries department has approved two companies to resume exports to the European Union, Pakistan's leading trading partner, the bloc said in a statement Wednesday.
“This is a real breakthrough that should also inspire other industries in Pakistan to increase their exports to EU markets,” the EU ambassador to Pakistan, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, said in the statement.
Through a technical assistance programme, the European Union has helped Pakistan upgrade fish auction halls in Karachi and train fishermen and inspectors in line with European standards.
More than 300 fishing boats have been revamped and laboratories set up to test produce to help Pakistan meet EU standards, the statement said.