ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has chaired an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss the possible impact on Pakistan of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.

The meeting was attended by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador Masood Khan and other senior officials.

Addressing the meeting, Aziz said that Pak-UK relations were rooted in history and complemented by strong diaspora linkages and the Brexit move would have no immediate impact on the country’s trade.

After a detailed review, the meeting concluded that Brexit may not have any immediate economic impact on Pakistan. However, it was necessary for Pakistani exporters to improve their competitive advantage to compensate for the recent fall in the value of Sterling.

The meeting also requested the Commerce Ministry to carry out an in-depth analysis of Pakistan’s exports to the UK.

The meeting also discussed ways and means of ensuring that concessions available to Pakistan under GSP-Plus would continue either under the new arrangements worked out between the UK and EU or through bilateral arrangements with the United Kingdom.

The meeting directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to closely monitor legal and commercial implications of the treaties and agreements signed between the UK and EU and the likely timings of the new arrangements that may evolve.

The meeting further underlined that Pakistan enjoyed excellent economic and trade relations with the EU and multi-dimensional cooperation in different fields under a medium term strategic framework.