Madrid – Pakistan’s Ambassador to Spain, Shujjat Ali Rathore, visited the International Olive Council (IOC) headquarters on 28 April 2023, accompanied by several of his country’s senior officials – Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui, Secretary of Commerce; Omar Hameed, Minister Counsellor for Economy at the Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels; and Ahmad Affan, Counsellor for Trade and Investment at the Embassy of Pakistan in Madrid – for talks with the Organisation’s Executive Director, Abdellatif Ghedira.
This meeting follows several meetings and missions organised between the country’s representatives and the IOC, and further reaffirms Pakistan’s interest in joining the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives.
A delegation had already visited the IOC just one year ago and met with the Executive Director and his Deputy, Jaime Lillo, as well as the Heads of the different Units and Departments of the Executive Secretariat, before making a technical visit to the olive-growing regions of southern Spain (information here).
Another visit took place earlier that year with the aim of explaining to the Pakistani delegation the steps to be taken for the country’s accession to the International Agreement (information here).
During his mission to Pakistan in 2021, the IOC Executive Director was able to take stock of the importance of olive growing in this large country, with its varied climates and landscapes, of the progress of the development plan for the olive sector, as well as of the research carried out in this field by the national institutes.
In anticipation of the country joining the Organisation in the near future, Mr Ghedira and his team – the Heads of the Technology and Environment Unit, the Economics and Promotion Unit and the Chemistry and Standardisation Unit, as well as the Heads of the Legal and External Relations Departments – reiterated the IOC’s support for Pakistan’s IOC membership process. On their end, the Pakistani delegation took note of the IOC standards and signalled that special importance would be given to their application.