ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce and Investment Syed Naveed Qamar, who is on an official visit to Brussels met Vice President of the European Parliament MEP Heidi Hautala in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday (25th of October, 2022).
Ambassador of Pakistan to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan and other officials were also present during the interaction.
Naveed Qamar briefed Vice President Hautala about the climate-induced catastrophe in Pakistan which has caused unprecedented loss of lives and destruction to infrastructure.
Naveed Qamar highlighted that the floods have inundated one third of the country, affecting 33 million people and killing 1,725 people including 643 children.
Naveed Qamar added that the catastrophe has caused an economic loss of over US$ 40 billion and has pushed the country’s development agenda back by years, a press release issued by Pakistan Embassy in Brussels said.
Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar emphasized that Pakistan was at ground zero of the climate crisis, despite contributing less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gases.
Naveed Qamar elaborated that the country has been suffering extreme weather events and has suffered from droughts, forest fires, severe and prolonged heat waves as well as unprecedented and prolonged monsoon rains, which resulted in catastrophic floods.
Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar also expressed gratitude on the overwhelming expressions of solidarity and support by the EU and its member states in the aftermath of the destruction caused by the climate-induced disaster in Pakistan.
In his interaction with the European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar thanked him for his visit to the flood affected areas in Pakistan, earlier this month.
Naveed Qamar also conveyed appreciation for the EU and its member states for collectively providing the largest humanitarian assistance of Euro 133 million as well as for activating the Civil Protection Mechanism and provision of Copernicus emergency satellite service following the devastating floods in Pakistan.
Later in the day, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar held separate meetings with several key Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including MEP Tomas Zdechovsky, MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo and MEP Helmut Scholz.
During the meetings, Naveed Qamar exchanged views with the Parliamentarians on a broad range of issues, including Pakistan- EU trade and investment relations.
The Members of the European Parliament thanked Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar for his briefing on Pakistan’s relations with the EU and agreed to enhance parliamentary exchanges with Pakistan.
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