Zardari seeks Kuwait’s cooperation for GCC FTA


ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari stated on Monday that Pakistan was keen to conclude a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and was looking for Kuwait’s support in this regard. This, he said, would pave way for boosted commercial activity between Pakistan and the Gulf countries.
In a meeting with the Special envoy of Amir of the State of Kuwait Dr Abdullah Maatooq Almaatoq, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President said that there was immense potential for enhancing trade between Pakistan and Kuwait since existing volumes of bilateral trade did not commensurate with their excellent relations.
The President said that Pakistan looked forward to the visits of the Amir and the Prime Minister of Kuwait to Pakistan, which would not only provide an impetus to strengthen the mutual relations but would also help chalk out future course for expanding the existing level of cooperation.
The matters relating to Pakistan-Kuwait bilateral relations and mutual cooperation also came under discussion during the meeting. The President congratulated the Kuwait government and its people on the 50th Independence and 20th Liberation Day Celebrations being held on February 25-26, 2011. He said that the Pakistani people equally shared the joy of freedom with their Kuwaiti brethren.
The President claimed that Pakistan attached immense importance to its relations with Kuwait and desired to expand cooperation in a number of sectors especially in economic, commercial, manpower energy and defence.
He said that people of the two countries were tied to each other through their fraternal bonds that gain strength with each passing day. The Kuwaiti people have always stood by their Pakistani brethren in every hour of need, the President said and added, “We greatly appreciate Kuwaiti assistance for the people of Pakistan, especially during the recent devastating floods which reflects their true feelings for their Pakistani brothers and sisters in distress”.
He said, “we owe special thanks to the Amir of Kuwait for launching a public campaign for collecting funds for the flood affected people.” The President also appreciated the role of Kuwait Fund for Arab Development in development projects in Pakistan, particularly the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project that would greatly contribute towards overcoming the energy crisis in the country.
The President said that Kuwait’s active participation in the economic development of Pakistan through a number of development projects reflects its binding interest and confidence in the country’s march to progress. He also lauded valuable contributions being made by the Pakistanis in Kuwait and hoped that their contributions would contribute in further strengthening the existing bonds between the two countries and towards development of the country.