Hina Rabbani Khar Advocates Enhanced Europe-Asia Pacific Cooperation for Sustainable Development

Hina Rabbani Khar

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, and sustainable development. Speaking at the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm, Khar highlighted Pakistan’s pivotal role as a trade and connectivity hub in Asia and expressed a desire to strengthen ties with European partners. 

Hina Rabbani Khar participated in a roundtable discussion on ‘Building More Sustainable and Inclusive Prosperity Together,’ hosted by EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom. She commended European sustainability and connectivity initiatives such as the EU Global Gateway Strategy and the Green Deal, while urging the new EU GSP Plus facility to continue promoting sustainable development and poverty alleviation. 

The minister stressed the interdependence of sustainability and inclusivity, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She urged against distortions, economic de-coupling, protectionism, and selective application of norms that could undermine free trade, economic cooperation, and interconnectedness. 

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Hina Rabbani Khar highlighted the importance of partnerships in addressing global challenges and non-traditional security threats, including climate change, pandemics, and water, energy, and food security. She proposed increased collaboration between the EU and Asia-Pacific countries in research, capacity building, and areas such as sustainability, green economies, agriculture, and digital connectivity. 

During her visit to Stockholm, Khar held bilateral meetings with Swedish Foreign Minister Billstrom, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, UAE Deputy Foreign Minister Noura Alkaabi, UK’s Lord Tariq Ahmad, US State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet, and Thailand’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Vijavat Isarabhakdi. 

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