Yorkshire MEP Amjad Bashir is on a one-man trade mission to Pakistan this week to explore further the huge opportunities he foresees for boosting commerce once the UK leaves the European Union.
The Conservative politician will deliver a series of seminars and lectures to key government and business figures about the possibilities opened up by Brexit, as well as receiving a briefing himself from the Pakistan Board of Investment on potential trade incentives offered by the Islamabad government.
The initiative comes just a month after Mr Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber, hosted the first bilateral trade conference to be held since last summer’s referendum – highlighting the potential for partnerships with Pakistan on digital commerce post-Brexit.
From Friday to Monday he will visit Pakistan’s National Institute of Management to address senior civil servants, as well as holding meetings with Karachi’s and Rawalpindi”s Chambers of Commerce.
Mr Bashir, Conservative spokesman on small business in the European Parliament, said: “Once we are out of the EU Britain will be able to strike her own trade deals quickly and flexibly without having to wait for agreement on every small detail from 27 other member states. We can start laying the groundwork for those deals now.
“Post-Brexit we will be able to look outwards to trade with the whole world instead of focusing inwards on one small corner of the planet where growth is stagnating. Crucially we can renew our links with our old Commonwealth trading partners – something which can be of special importance to regions such as ours in Yorkshire which already has such strong ties with Pakistan and the Sub-Continent.”
Following the trade talks, Mr Bashir will join a delegation from the European Parliament’s influential Foreign Affairs Committee for a series of high-level meetings to discuss democracy, security and human rights.
As well as Pakistan’s President Mammon Hussein and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the delegation is scheduled to meet Foreign Secretary Tariq Fatemi and representatives from opposition parties.