Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told the visiting Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, that Pakistan is keen to forge closer ties with Belarus in all fields including trade, economy, defence and culture.
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During the meeting at the Prime Minister House on Friday, the premier extended condolences to President Lukashenko over the death of his mother two days ago, which was also the reason why the Belarusian president delayed his visit to Pakistan until May 28.
“Your visit will act as a catalyst in developing strong political and economic relations between our two countries,” the premier told the Belarusian president.
The prime minister said he was pleased with the increased exchanges between the Pakistan and Belarus in the recent past and there was a need to further increase frequency of bilateral visits.
The Belarusian president arrived on May 26 for a two-day state visit. PM Nawaz welcomed President Lukashenko at the Nur Khan Airbase, and a 21-gun salute was presented as his plane landed.
Speaking about the bilateral trade volume, the premier said that it stands at $60 million and needs to be increased substantially.
“We need to establish close interaction between the respective chambers of commerce and industry to boost bilateral trade and investment,” he said. “There is a great scope for increasing the economic relations in the fields of textile, agricultural equipment, heavy machinery, tyres, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and transport.”
Concluding the address, PM Nawaz said that “I am convinced, that the Pakistan-Belarus Business Forum held the day before yesterday, will benefit the entrepreneurs of both countries. Being an investor friendly country, Pakistan provides excellent environment for foreign investors and I am convinced that Pak-Belarus joint ventures in various sectors are on the horizon.”
Belarusian delegation attending the meeting included: Deputy Prime Minister Semashko Vladimir, Minister for Foreign Affairs Makei Vladimir, Assistant to the President Bryliov Valery, Head of National Academy of Science Gusakov Vladimir, Minister of Industry Vovk Vitaly, Minister of Agriculture Zayats Leonid, Head of the State Military Industrial Committee Gurulev Sergei, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus Ermolovich Andrei, Director of Machinery Holding “Amcodor” Shakutin Aleksandr, Director of Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Miatlikov Mikhail, Dy Chairman Mogilev Regional Executive Committee Nekrashevich Viktor, Director of Belarusian Light Industry Concern Efimchik Nikolai, and Director of “Minsk Tractor Works” Domoteko Fedor.
Those attending the meeting from the Pakistan side included: Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid, Advisor to the prime minister on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, Chairman Board of Investment Mifta Ismail, and Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.
After delegation-level talks, the two sides held a joint press conference.
Addressing the press conference the prime minsiter said, “I am happy to be standing here with my distinguished visitor from the Republic of Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko who is in Pakistan on the first ever Presidential visit from this beautiful country.”
“Belarus is an important country and we attach high importance to our bilateral relations with it. We greatly value the visit by the President and his high powered delegation,” he said.
He added, “We just concluded a very productive round of talks. We discussed our relations in all fields in particular, trade, industry, agriculture, investment, culture, education and people-to-people contacts. We agreed on several new initiatives.”
“We also agreed to intensify our inter-parliamentary relations and confirmed our willingness to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, narcotics, and human trafficking.”
The premier also divulged about the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the two counties saying, “A few moments ago, we happily witnessed the signing of many important Agreements which will provide a structured framework for our future collaboration.”
Nawaz further said Pakistan provides excellent environment for foreign investors and that Pak-Belarus joint ventures in various sectors are on the horizon.
He thanked President Lukashenko for the invitation that he extended to the prime minister to visit Belarus.
“I am delighted to accept it and look forward to an early visit,” the premier said.
On the first day of the President Lukashenko’s visit, Pakistan and Belarus vowed to build a broad-based, substantive and long-term relationship in all fields, including trade, economic, education, defence and culture.
President Hussain hosted a banquet in honour of his Belarusian counterpart.
During his meeting with the Belarusian leader followed by delegation-level talks, President Hussain said Pakistan valued its ties with Belarus and both countries enjoyed a warm and a cordial relationship.
Meanwhile, Sergei Gurulev, Chairman State Military Industrial Committee, Belarus, called on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Rashad Mahmood and discussed matters relating to professional interest and mutual cooperation between the two armed forces.
According to the ISPR, the two agreed that there was great scope for cooperation in the field of defence industry.