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    Pakistan assures to further enhance mutual trust and confidence Featured

    January 06, 2016

    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following signing of eight bilateral instruments between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Presidential Secretariat said yesterday (05) that his visit which comes eight months after President Maithripala Sirisena's visit to Pakistan in April last year, is a testimony to strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.

    He said, "Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy excellent relations, based on mutual respect and shared interests. They are marked by cordiality and commonality of views on major regional and global issues and close cooperation in the multilateral forums. Both sides wish to further deepen and broaden these ties through regular high level contacts and exchange of visits."

     

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif further said, "We have agreed to re-invigorate our efforts to realize the goal of achieving US $1 billion bilateral trade target at the earliest. I re-iterated Pakistan’s offer to set-up Cement and Sugar Plants in Sri Lanka, on mutually agreed terms, for the long term benefit of Sri Lankan economy. We have also conveyed our readiness to welcome Sri Lankan investment in Pakistan. We have also expressed satisfaction on the work of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission in promoting bilateral trade."

     

    The full statement is as follows:-



    President Maithripala Sirisena!

     

    On behalf of myself and my delegation, I would like to thank you for the warm hospitality accorded to me and my delegation.



    Today, we comprehensively reviewed the whole range of our multifaceted bilateral relationship, in the fields of political interactions, trade and commerce, defence, education, science and technology, culture and agriculture etc. The talks were held in a warm friendly and cordial atmosphere and were marked by full trust and complete understanding. Both sides reached broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in a comprehensive manner. We have agreed to hold frequent summit level meetings, promote parliamentary exchanges and enhance the process of consultations, cooperation and coordination between our respective institutions.



    We also discussed the issues related to the implementation of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. The two countries have agreed on the inclusion of Services and Investments chapters in the bilateral FTA. This would enable our companies to form joint ventures for export to third countries. Sri Lanka enjoys exceptional position of being the first country with which Pakistan entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The present volume of trade (approx. US $325 million) does not reflect true potential. We have agreed to re-invigorate our efforts to realize the goal of achieving US $1 billion bilateral trade target at the earliest. I re-iterated Pakistan’s offer to setup Cement and Sugar Plants in Sri Lanka, on mutually agreed terms, for the long term benefit of Sri Lankan economy. We have also conveyed our readiness to welcome Sri Lankan investment in Pakistan. We have also expressed satisfaction on the work of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission in promoting bilateral trade.



    Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the existing bilateral cooperation in the field of Defence. I appreciated the participation of the Sri Lankan Navy in the annual AMAN exercise of the Pakistan Navy. I also conveyed our desire for more frequent port calls, participation in military exercises and fence seminars and training of military personnel.



    Both sides also agreed to give further impetus of their cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, healthcare, agriculture, tourism, sporting contacts, cultural exchanges and people to people contacts. They also agreed to prioritize Cooperation in the Field of Gems and Jewelllery.



    We have also signed a number of Agreements and MoUs today, which would help promote cooperation between our two countries in the fields Trade promotion, Culture, Health, Gem and Jewellery, Science & Technology and Combating Money Laundering and Terror Financing.



    Sri Lanka has been a strong and steadfast friend of Pakistan. It has stood by us in our most difficult moments. We remain eternally grateful to the people and government of this beautiful Island State.



    We now look forward to welcoming President Sirisena to Pakistan, at an early date, so that the relations of mutual trust and confidence can be further enhanced.

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