Islamabad, March 19, 2014 (PPI-OT): President Mamnoon Hussain has called for translating the political goodwill and fraternal bonds existing Pakistan and Kingdom of Bahrain into a strong economic and trade partnership to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
The President said this during his meeting with His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Presidency today. The two leaders exchanged views on Pakistan- Bahrain bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Welcoming the King of Bahrain on his visit to Pakistan, the President said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its close and fraternal ties with Bahrain and desires to further consolidate and strengthen these ties in diverse fields. Pakistan and Bahrain enjoy close and cordial relations based on mutual trust and understanding and deeply rooted in our culture and history, the President stated.
The President said that the two countries have always stood by each other in testing times and appreciated the assistance extended by the Kingdom of Bahrain to Pakistan in difficult times including the natural calamities in Pakistan over the years. The two leaders expressed satisfaction that the two brotherly countries enjoy similarity of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Discussing bilateral trade ties, the President said that economic and trade relations between the two countries have been gradually improving, however, these were still well below the real potential existing between Pakistan and Bahrain.
He urged the need for regular holding of the Joint Commission’s meetings as it provides a good platform for reviewing status of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The Chambers of Commerce and Industry of both countries need to be encouraged to have regular interaction and revitalize the Joint Business Council, the President stated.
Highlighting the business and investors friendly initiatives of the government, the President invited Bahrain’s investors and businessmen to avail the investment opportunities and the incentive packages, the present government offers for investment in diverse areas including trade, energy, agriculture, livestock, textile and others.
The President said that Pakistan would welcome Bahraini investments in mega projects in the field of energy, downstream oil industry, port development, mining and minerals, infrastructure, banking and financial sectors.
The President expressed hope that the impressive business delegation accompanying His Majesty would help bring the business communities especially the private sectors of the two countries further closer and consolidate Pak- Bahrain trade ties.
The President expressed confidence that the various MoUs and agreements signed during the visit of the His Majesty King of Bahrain in various fields would explore new avenues of mutual cooperation and would help boost Pak- Bahrain trade and economic ties to new heights.
President Mamnoon said that Pakistan has keen interest in concluding a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council and sought Bahrain’s support in early conclusion of the agreement. The agreement, he said, would pave the way for increased commercial activity between Pakistan and the Gulf countries.
Commenting on Pakistani Diaspora in Bahrain, the President said that sizeable Pakistani community working and living in Bahrain serves as bridge between the two brotherly countries, adding that they have played a positive role in the development of Bahrain as well as contributes to Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan has skilled manpower that can play their role in different economic sector of Bahrain, the President continued.
The President on his own behalf and behalf of the people of Pakistan prayed for His Majesty’s good health, wellbeing and for the sustained progress and prosperity of the fraternal people of Bahrain.
King of Bahrain, His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa thanked the President, the Prime Minister and the government of Pakistan for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and his accompanying delegation and said that Pakistan was like a second home to him.
From Bahrain side , those present during the meeting included among others H.H. Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Son of His Majesty, H.H. Shaikh Nassir bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Son of His Majesty, H.H. Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa, Son of His Majesty, H.H. Shaikh Mohammad bin Mubarak bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani, Chairman of the House of Representatives, H.E. Mr. Ali bin Saleh, Chairman of Shura Council, H.H. Lt. Gen. Shaikh Muhammad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Commander of the National Guard, H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Minister of the Royal Court, H.E. Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister for Interior, H.E. Shaikh Khlid bin Ahmad bin MohammadAl Khalifa, Minister for foreign affairs. Later, the President hosted a banquet in honour of the King of Bahrain and the visiting delegation at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
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