Islamabad, August 19, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan is keen to enhance its existing friendly ties with Nepal for exploring new avenues for cooperation in commercial and economic fields for mutual benefit” said Mr. Dar.
This was stated by finance Minister at the inaugural session of the sixth session of Pak-Nepal Joint economic session, here today
Recalling the history of relations between the two countries, the Finance Minister said both Pakistan and Nepal signed a protocol for establishing diplomatic relations in 1962 and set up Embassies in 1963. Both Nations have also signed agreements to reciprocate the status of “Most Favored Nation” in 1963 to develop trade and cooperation.
The agreement to establish JEC was signed in 1983. Both countries have made a number of advancements in the fields of Commerce, agriculture and Tourism, in addition to exchange of information in energy sector. Both countries share common perceptions on various regional and global issues.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that the 6th Session of the Joint Economic Commission is taking place after a long pause of more than eight years. Nepal is the first country with which Pakistan is holding JEC, he emphasized.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that JEC can help in harnessing the true potential of mutual trade, which is still far below the existing potentials. There is certainly a need for taking concrete measures for increasing and diversifying bilateral trade. The conclusion of Free Trade Agreement between the two countries Senator Ishaq Dar said, would open new vistas in promoting trade.
Senator Dar said Pakistan at the moment is confronted with severe energy crisis. In this connection the present government has created an energy corridor in Gawadar where 6600MW new coal fired plant would be constructed which will help not only to meet its present shortage but also overcome it in due course.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that geographical location of Pakistan coupled with a friendly, liberal investment policy offers ideal and enormous opportunities for Nepali investment in Pakistan.
The Finance Minister said that Pakistan has embarked upon a major reform program that aims at fiscal stabilization, mobilizing domestic resources, phasing out subsides, restructuring the power sector and other public sector enterprises and strengthening the social safety nets.
Mr. Shaker Prasad Koirala speaking on the occasion congratulated Senator Ishaq Dar on the successful holding of elections of the national assembly and provincial assemblies in Pakistan and assumption of the onerous responsibility as the Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization.
He expressed the confidence that the economic relations between our two countries would find solid footing to further deepen and widen the areas of cooperation during the present government in Pakistan.
Expressing happiness over the Sixth meeting of Nepal-Pakistan bilateral Joint Economic Commission took place despite a considerable gap of eight years, Mr. Koraila said that the relations between Nepal and Pakistan are marked by good will, friendship and cooperation. We consider that expanding the areas of cooperation in economic and cultural fronts would help consolidate the foundations of our relations and ultimately enhance the welfare of our people.
There is a good scope of promoting trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Cooperation in the fields, such as, agriculture, tourism, education and culture, health, textiles and leather industries would contribute in the economic development and prosperity of our people, said Mr. Koraila.
Appreciating the Government of Pakistan’s decision to allow duty free access of Nepalese tea in Pakistan, Mr. Koraila said that this would find with commensurate simplification of procedure at the Karachi port.
“There have been good institutional linkages between the private sectors of Nepal and Pakistan which need to be revitalized. Frequent exchange of business delegations, organization of trade and tourism fairs in both the countries, and collaboration between the two private sectors would give added impetus to the promotion of trade and commerce. Nepal has given special emphasis on the public-private partnership for economic development of the country where private sector can play a lead role.” Said Mr. Koirala.
Talking about Nepal’s current political and economic scenario, Mr. Koraila said we are in transition. Peace process is almost concluded. The next task is writing a new constitution for which the election of Constituent Assembly has been called for November 19 of this year. This remains the single most important priority task of the present government, he emphasized.
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