ISLAMABAD: The European Union is likely to approve the autonomous trade preferences (ATP) for Pakistan on Thursday.
Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal, speaking at a media briefing at the Foreign Office after bilateral consultations, said that he was looking forward to a positive outcome on Thursday in the European Parliament regarding ATP for Pakistan.
Denmark is currently holding the EU presidency.
The EU Commission had proposed in October 2010 the emergency ATP for Pakistan as a compensation for that year’s massive floods.
The package, which allows for tariff-free export of 75 Pakistani products to EU markets for three years, got WTO waiver earlier this year.
The trade concessions are now being debated by the EU Parliament, Council and Commission simultaneously.
Once implemented, the trade concessions package would result in an increase in Pakistani exports worth 300 million euros over the next three years.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in their meetings thanked Foreign Minister Søvndal for Danish government’s support to Pakistan in getting ATP.
President Zardari hoped that the ATP would be finalised and implemented soon.
At the Foreign Office, the two sides discussed issues related to bilateral trade, investment, development assistance, cooperation in the renewable energy sector and human rights.
EU-Pakistan relations and the situation in Afghanistan were also discussed.
Khar at the post dialogue media briefing said that Denmark and Pakistan were working on a bilateral consultation framework which would provide an institutional mechanism for consultation and cooperation.
APP adds: During a meeting with Danish foreign minister, President Zardari proposed that a Joint Working Group on economic cooperation be established to promote trade and economic activities.
He said that success of various Danish companies running profitable business ventures in Pakistan should serve to encourage other investors.
Energy generation and transmission, infrastructure development, agriculture, food processing and industrial manufacturing are important areas where the Danish businessmen could invest and reap benefits, the president observed.
The President further stated that Pakistan is likely to benefit from the Danish expertise in the field of electricity generation through wind energy.