The outgoing Ambassador of European Union Jean Francois Cautain has said his Pakistan posting was a great experience adding he would miss Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality of people.
The ambassador expressed these views while speaking at a reception he hosted to say goodbye to his friends. Ambassador Cautain further said during his tenure he tried to bring both EU and Pakistan closer.
He noted with satisfaction that Pakistan benefited from the GSP plus arrangement with the hope that Islamabad would continue to reaping benefits of this arrangement even in the coming days.
Talking about celebration of Europe Day, he said it was during his tenure that he took these celebrations to open places such as Lok Virsa and PNCA lawns.
“Despite the fact that that it involved some security issues, I was able to bring all the EU missions round that such events should be held in public places in order to provide more and more people with a chance to be part of such festivities and get first hand information about cultures; traditions of various European countries”. Talking about GSP plus the ambassador said statistics show that Pakistani exports to the EU have considerably increased in the four years, GSP+ has been in effect.
The GSP+ has helped Pakistan boost its export to the EU at a time when exports to rest of the world are decreasing.
Pakistan’s usage of GSP+ concession has been above 95% since 2014 but the only limitation is that this increase has not reflected in diversification in Pakistan’s export base which remains highly concentrated in textiles (and garments i.e. over 70%). Jean Francois Cautain during his stay in Pakistan also visited various places. He recently visited the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalander and 5000 old civilization Moen Jo Daro with his wife.
He watched Dhamal of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar also, this spiritual dance by groups of devotees and individually before Shrine. After the visit, EU ambassador, said that this was the place of spirituality and tolerance. Ambassador Cautain will be going back to the headquarters where he is supposed to spend one or two years before getting another posting abroad.