Minister of State attends the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm


Islamabad:(Rana Tariq) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar attended the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm at the invitation of the EU High representative Josep Borrell and Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström.

Speaking at the roundtable discussion on “Building more Sustainable and Inclusive Prosperity Together” the Minister of State called for enhanced cooperation between Europe and Asia-Pacific particularly in trade, investment and sustainable development.

The Minister of State underscored Pakistan’s role as a trade, investment and connectivity hub in the heart of Asia which seeks to deepen its engagements with the European partners. She appreciated European sustainability and connectivity initiatives like the EU Global gateway Strategy and the Green Deal. She expressed the hope that the new EU GSP Plus facility would continue to focus on its primary aim of promoting sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

The Minister of State stressed on the importance of recognizing the symbiotic relationship between sustainability and inclusivity in line with UN Sustainable development goals. She also called for avoiding distortions, economic de-coupling, new forms of protectionism and selective application of norms which can undermine free trade, win-win economic cooperation and interconnectedness.

The Minister of State emphasized the need for partnerships to deal with emerging global challenges and non-traditional security threats such as climate change, pandemics, water, energy and food security. She proposed greater collaboration between the EU and Asia-Pacific countries for research and capacity building with focus on sustainability, green economies, agriculture and digital connectivity.

In Stockholm, the Minister of State also held bilateral meetings with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Tobias Billstrom, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of UAE Noura Alkaabi, UK Minister of State Lord Tariq Ahmad, Counsellor of the US Department of State Derek H. Chollet, and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand Vijavat Isarabhakdi.