European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel arrived June 16 in Pakistan for a joint visit to the Asian country.
During their trip, Piebalgs is expected to reaffirm the European Union’s commitment to increase its aid to Pakistan from €50 million ($70.7 million) to €75 million annually for 2011-2013. This commitment was part of a five-year cooperation plan unveiled by the European Union in June 2010.
EU aid will continue to focus on supporting rural development, education and governance-related initiatives in Pakistan, according to the European Commission.
In a speech delivered by Piebalgs in Islamabad, Piebalgs highlighted common values, concerns and interest by the EU and Pakistan.
“We want to offer your country a commitment of support for the long term. We would like to build a strong and reliable relationship based on mutual interests,” the commissioner said, while also pressing for reforms that he said were necessary for Pakistan to achieve its development goals.
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