ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Belarus signed a series of accords on Friday aimed at boosting bilateral trade and cooperation between the two countries in different sectors.
Delegates of both sides met at a function held at the PM House, where 15 agreements and five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in the fields of education, technology, trade and defence production were signed.
At the conclusion of delegation-level talks, premier Nawaz Sharif and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko highlighted the potential scope of trade and cooperation between the two countries.
PM Nawaz said Belarus was an important country and Pakistan attached great importance to its bilateral relations. “The signing of important agreements would provide a structured framework for future collaboration,” he said.
The premier termed the talks productive, saying the delegates focussed on bilateral relations in all fields, particularly trade, industry, agriculture, investment, culture, education and people-to-people contacts.
He said the two sides agreed on several new initiatives, besides intensifying inter-parliamentary relations and willingness to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, narcotics and human trafficking.
The PM said the two sides discussed regional and global issues and it was agreed to develop inter-regional relations to work for shared objective of peace and prosperity.
He said the Pakistan-Belarus Business Forum would benefit the entrepreneurs of both the countries.
The Belarusian president, who was on his first-ever visit to Pakistan, said the agreements inked would go a long way in bringing the two countries closer.
He invited delegations from different sectors in Pakistan to visit Belarus before the expected visit of PM Nawaz in August this year to help identify more areas of common interest.
He also invited Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest in different areas in Belarus, emphasising on joint ventures in textiles and garments that can be exported to the European Union countries on competitive rates.
Earlier, PM Nawaz, while talking to the Belarusian president during the delegation level talks, said Pakistan was keen to forge closer ties with Belarus in all fields.
The current bilateral trade between the two countries stands at $60 million, PM Nawaz said, terming it “incommensurate” with potential. “We need to establish close interaction between the respective chambers of commerce and industry as they will help boost bilateral trade and investment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2015.
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