Islamabad: Europe is Pakistan closest trade ally after US and recent statistics reveals that Pakistan's exports to the European Union (EU) has increased to an unbelieveable 37 percent during the last three years on the back of Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status.

The Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has revealed. "The GSP status offers huge potential for enhancing mutual trade between Pakistan and EU," the minister said in a statement received from Brussels.

He said export of machinery, chemicals and dyes from Europe to Pakistan also rose 14 percent."These products were required to meet the growing demand of Pakistani products, particularly textiles and garments in the European markets," he added. In December 2013, the EU awarded GSP Plus status to Pakistan, which would give zero tariffs to 20 percent and preferential rates to 70 percent of the country's exports to the region. The status is valid till 2017. Annual bilateral trade between Pakistan and the EU is more than $7 billion. Balance of trade is nearly equal.