President for exploring new avenues of Pak-Korea cooperation

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called for further enhancing the quantum of bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea.

He emphasized exploring new avenues for cooperation among the governments and private sectors of the two countries. 

He was talking to the members of the Korea-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, led by its Head Lee Hack Young here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Members of Parliament including Lee Sangheon, Kim Byungjoo, An Byunggil, and Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Suh Sangpyo attended the meeting.

The president said that Pakistan was desirous of expanding bilateral cooperation with Korea in various fields, such as agriculture, information technology, human resource development, economy, science, culture and education. 

Talking to the parliamentary delegation, the president highlighted that Pakistan possessed an enormous youth bulge which, if properly educated and trained, could provide much-needed qualified and cost-competitive human resources to Korean companies.

The president said that Korea could help Pakistan bring vast virgin lands in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under cultivation and substantially increase the yield of agricultural products of the fertile plains of Sindh and Punjab through joint research and development.

He also mentioned other areas of cooperation including ICT-based modern agriculture technologies, better disease-resistant seeds, vertical farming and Artificial Intelligence based irrigation system. 

This will prevent water wastage, help in the growth of high-value agriculture products through a controlled environment and ensure food security in the country, he added.  

President Alvi said Korea had been effectively contributing to the economic development of Pakistan and had made sizable investments in many sectors, especially in the vehicle and cellular manufacturing sectors. 

He said both the countries needed to continue mutual consultations and deliberations to find ways and means to take existing cooperation to the next level. 

He also emphasized finding out the possibilities of the greater role of Korean companies in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)  projects and their investment in the Special Economic Zones. 

He assured the delegation that Korean investment in Pakistan was safe and that Pakistan was committed to continuing the investment and trade policies irrespective of change in the government to provide a safe and secure environment to foreign investors. 

The president pointed out that the existing volume of bilateral trade at US$ Rs. 1.935 billion was much below the two countries’ potential. 

He said that by focusing on bilateral diversification of products and services and setting up achievable targets, the Pak-Korea trade volume could easily be taken to US$ 6 Billion in a few years. 

He also urged both the countries to take necessary steps to enhance bilateral consultations for the signing of a mutually agreed upon Free Trade Agreement which would provide an excellent framework for promoting bilateral trade, investment and business relations.  

The president said the exchange of parliamentary friendship groups between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea would bring the two countries closer and further promote cooperation between the parliaments of both countries. 

He also emphasized the need to develop the multidimensional relations between Pakistan and Korea to their fullest potential.