PM, Belarusian PM discuss cooperation in trade, defence, culture

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Belarusian counterpart Andrey Kobyakov on Tuesday held a one-on-one meeting and discussed issues of bilateral interest with particular focus on enhancing cooperation in trade, defence and
culture.
The two Prime Ministers in a meeting held at the PM House agreed on strengthening ties at the governmental and people-to-people levels for the mutual benefit of their countries.
The Belarusian Prime Minister who is on a three-day official visit to Islamabad expressed interest to explore the areas of economy and humanitarian cooperation through launch of two Roadmaps.
Prime Minister Sharif said the Pak-Belarus Roadmap on Economic
Cooperation would provide a robust framework for multi-sectoral
cooperation.
The two sides agreed that there existed a potential for
Pakistan and Belarus to collaborate in the fields of education, health,
and science and technology.
Prime Minister Sharif recalled his visit to Minsk in August
this year terming it productive, and said the high-level visits
between the two countries had extensively contributed to the
strengthening of bilateral relations.
He mentioned that with working together, Pakistan and Belarus
could enhance their bilateral trade volume up to $US 60 million.
He expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the first
Pakistan-Belarus meeting of the Joint Economic Commission on August
7th and added that the second meeting of the Pakistan-Business Joint
Business and Investment Forum and the inaugural session of
Pakistan-Belarus Business Council were most encouraging.
Prime Minister Sharif stressed to enhance economic cooperation
in textile, agricultural equipment, heavy machinery, pharmaceutical,
dairy products and vehicles.
He mentioned that parliamentary contacts were an important
element of the bilateral relations and welcomed the formation of the
“Working Group for Cooperation in the Belarusian Parliament with the
Parliament of Pakistan.”
He apprised Prime Minister Andrey Kobyakov that the Chairman
of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of
Pakistan along with a delegation would visit Belarus soon.
The two sides discussed a whole range of issues including
cooperation in defence and defence production, counter-terrorism and
narcotics control.
The need of collaboration in education, culture and
people-to-people linkages also came under discussion.
Later, the two Prime Ministers chaired the delegation-level
meeting and emphasized on the follow-up of the Memoranda of
Understanding signed in the recent months.
Prime Minister Sharif urged upon the Belarusian investors to
benefit from the incentives offered by Pakistan’s Special Economic
Zones.
In the field of culture, he suggested collaboration between
the museums of two countries.
Sharif also welcomed the establishment of a Belarus Cultural
Center at the National Library of Pakistan and expressed desire to
establish a similar centre in Minsk.
He said Pakistan wanted friendly relations with all its
neighbours including China, India and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Sharif highlighted the significance of China
Pakistan Economic Corridor, which he said would benefit the entire
region. He welcomed Belarus to be part of this economic vision.
He also expressed gratitude for Belarusian support to Pakistan
for its bid for re-election to the UNESCO Executive Board.
The Pakistani side included Minister for Defence Production
Rana Tanvir Hussain, Minister for National Food Security Sikandar
Hayat Bosan, PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, State
Minister for Education Balighur Rehman, PM’s Special Assistant Tariq
Fatemi, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Pakistan’s ambassador
to Belarus Masood Raja.
The Belarus delegation included Minister of Industry Vitaly
Vovk, Minister for Architecture and Construction Anatoly Cherny,
Minister for Agriculture and Food Leonid Zayats, Minister for
Education Mikhail Zhurakov, Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Rybakov
and Belarus’ ambassador to Pakistan Andrei Ermolovich.