Pakistan, France friendship groups discuss ways to enhance cooperation


ISLAMABAD, April 24 (APP):A high profile French parliamentary delegation headed by Pakistan France Friendship Group Chairman in French Senate Senator Pascal Allizard Wednesday met with the Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Senate headed by Senator Faisal Javed Khan here at the Parliament House and discussed matters of mutual interest.
Senator Faisal Javed welcomed the delegation and observed that the bilateral relationship between the two countries had grown over the years and the huge potential on both sides especially among the young population could take it to new heights.
He remarked that more than 65 percent of Pakistani population came under the category of youth and it could change the tide for the country.
He said after the new government had come into power, there was an enhanced focus on trade and business with different countries and our orientation towards France was no different.
Senator Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum who headed the friendship group in the last tenure explicated upon the interactions and engagements held between the two parliaments through the friendship groups on both sides.
He observed that Pakistan was a land of opportunities for business investments as well as tourism.
He said as of today 46 French companies were doing business in Pakistan and it was hoped that this number would increase manifold.
Pakistani side expressed the hope that France will explore investment in agriculture research, climate change, railway, surgical instruments, and technical training centres among other sectors.
The cooperation in defence sector also came under discussion and both looked forward to enhanced cooperation.
Senator Faisal Javed remarked that in terms of heritage and cultural exchange and the vast tourism potential, France can explore a wide array of opportunities to build the ties further with Pakistan.
He said the present government had revised its visa policies and had put it on priority to improve ease of business and investment as well as provide tourism appeal.
He said the incumbent government and especially the prime minister was passionate about facilitating tourism in Pakistan and the sole purpose of revising the visa policy was to promote tourism.
He said Pakistan was rich in mountain and beach tourism and religious tourism among other areas.
Senator Pascal Allizard agreed with the Pakistani side that trade and business needed to be enhanced.
He said the friendship group in French Senate had been focusing on economic research, teaching, and cultural exchange in its work for the last four years.
He said a lot of success had been achieved in increasing the number of Pakistani students enrolled in higher educational institutions in France.
Members of the Senate appreciated the role of the parliamentary friendship group in cementing the ties between the two countries.
Members expressed the hope that Pakistan had a lot to learn from France as it was not just a prominent country in Europe but also a central country at the global stage.
French delegation told the Pakistani side that many of the hurdles being faced by the French business companies earlier had now been resolved and soon more and more French companies will invest in Pakistan.
Members were also told that much went to the credit of these friendship groups that the perception of Pakistan’s economic stability and security situation had changed in France.
Pakistani side expressed gratitude to the French senators for their support and hoped that the true picture of Pakistan and its people would be before the international community.