Minister for Commerce and Attorney General Meet Belgian Vice Prime Minister: Expresses Gratitude over Belgian support for Pakistan in UN Human Rights Council Election

“Pakistan values its cordial relations with Belgium and appreciates the support rendered by Belgium to Pakistan on the occasion of recent Election of UN Human Rights Council as Pakistan has become member of the council winning 151 votes”.

These views were conveyed to the Belgian Vice Prime Minister & Minister responsible for Foreign Trade Mr. Kris Peeters during his meeting with Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce and Textiles Mr. Muhammad Pervaiz Malik and the Attorney General of Pakistan Mr. Ashtar Ausaf Ali held in Brussels today.

Both sides expressed satisfaction over expansion of bilateral trade between the two countries. Belgium being the 7th largest trading partner of Pakistan in the European Union, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Belgium has risen from 681.8 million Euros in 2014 to 842million Euros by the end of year 2016 which amounts to a significant increase of 23.5 % over the time period of 2 years.

The Minister for Commerce apprised Mr. Peeters of the trade and investment environment of Pakistan. He said “Pakistan offers excellent opportunities for foreign investors with investment friendly regulations and a huge market of over 190 million people”. He further added “Belgian investors can benefit from the incentives provided by the government especially in the energy sector”.

Attorney General of Pakistan Mr. Ashtar Ausaf Ali highlighted the positive steps taken by the federal and provincial governments to improve the conditions of common man informing that in 2015, Government of Pakistan through an act of parliament had established an independent National Human Rights Commission. He said many of its recommendations have been accepted and enforced by the Government of Pakistan, such as: Hindu Marriage Act, 2017; Juvenile Justice System Bill 2017; Transgender Persons Act, 2017; Criminal Law Amendment Act 2016 (Criminalising sexual abuse, child pornography and raising age of criminal liability of Children); Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Amendment 2016 and National Commission on Rights of the Child Bill 2017.

He further informed that the Ministry of Oversees Pakistanis & Human Resource Development has developed a National Framework to address Child Labour and Bonded Labour- which includes actions on improving legislation and enforcement.