TAXILA: Ambassador of Poland Piotr Opalinski said on Tuesday that Poland would support Pakistan in seeking the European Union Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) facility and in the issuance of prompt visa facilities for the Pakistani business community.

The ambassador was speaking to the press after a visit to the Taxila Museum and ancient Gandhara sites at Zaildar House, after a lunch hosted in his honour by Syed Zaheer Shah and Syed Ahsan Shah.

He said his country values its historical links with Pakistan and the multifaceted collaboration with which the two countries are developing their political, economic and defence cooperation.

Poland’s expertise and long tradition in coal mining, defence production, agriculture and food processing offer new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in these areas as well, he said.

To a question, Ambassador Opalinski said that although bilateral trade volume in 2018 rose to about €500 million, there is potential to enhance economic cooperation, especially in textile products, sports gear and food processing.

“We would like to continue this successful cooperation in the area of searching and exploring natural resources, but we would also like to enhance bilateral trade exchange in other fields like mining, food processing and green energy, including solar and hydropower plants,” he said.

To a question, he said Polish business is eager to explore the food processing market here, as Pakistan despite being an agriculture country does not have food processing facilities, which have vast potential as this market has not explored properly.

He added that Poland has 100 years of experience in coal mining and has evolved into the most modern mining industry from which Pakistan can benefit, especially in Balochistan and Sindh.

Responding a question, Ambassador Opalinski said that about twenty leading Polish educational institutions have Pakistani students who are performing well in their respective fields of study. He said that there is also need to enhance cooperation in education sector.

He also praised Pakistan for maintaining Buddhist sites and said Pakistan has vast potential for religious tourism especially from Buddhist countries, as well as untapped potential for mountaineering tourism.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019