The EU and Pakistan have strong bilateral relations through their historical, cultural, defence and trade ties. A large Pakistani diaspora now resides in the EU, facilitating a cultural exchange and return of remittances to Pakistan.
The EU and Pakistan are committed in their joint goal of regional security and peace. Both are working towards strengthening their bonds further. Since 2001, the EU has maintained significant and visible engagement with Pakistan, both in political and economic terms.
Relations were elevated to a new strategic level with the EU-Pakistani Summit in 2009, which set measures for strengthening their common commitment to development, education, science and technology, security, counter-terrorism, strengthening democracy, human rights and enhancing trade. Furthermore, the EU and Pakistan are committed trading partners.
For many years Pakistan has suffered from a negative image in the West with public opinion often associating the country with terrorism, war, poverty and corruption. In reality, Pakistan is taking serious action to address such issues. Pakistan has partnered with the coalition in counterterrorism efforts and like the coalition, is committed to the development of a peaceful and stable post-withdrawal Afghanistan.
Pakistan has enormous potential and represents many opportunities for international businesses and investors. In terms of energy, Pakistan is home to large and primarily unexplored hydrocarbon reserves. Further, with the seventh largest coal reserves in the world, Pakistan has the potential to be a mining giant. Low penetration rates in banking and telecommunications equate to significant opportunities and potential for growth. Incentives such as equity without limits, 100% repatriation of capital and special economic zones result in a receptive and comfortable business environment for foreign investors.