Pakistan seeks increased cooperation with Oman


MUSCAT – An increased Omani investment was sought by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in Pakistan’s energy, telecom and agro-based industries beside an early finalisation of a free trade agreement with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during a meeting with Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahd bin Mahmud Al Sai’d.
Bilateral relations, economic cooperation, trade, commerce and investment were discussed in a meeting attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Khan Ghauri, Minister of State for Ports and Shipping Nabil Ahmad Gabol, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammed Aslam Khan Raisani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Oman Sohail Amin and Ambassador of Oman to Pakistan Mohammad Al-Lawati.
Both sides agreed to formalize a mechanism between two countries to implement agreements and deals signed during the delegation’s visit to Pakistan, Qureshi told reporters, adding that agreements on defence, labour and manpower and a Joint Business Council were still being finalized. He also invited his Omani counterpart for a follow-up meeting in February and said that Pakistan was also looking into the possibility of benefiting from the Oman-US FTA and could process some of its products in Oman.
“This short visit has generated tremendous goodwill,” Qureshi said, adding that Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani had been invited especially because of deep historic ties of Oman with the people of Balochistan.
Deputy Prime Minister Sa’id said both the countries had deep brotherly and historic relations and there was a need to extend cooperation to all areas.
PM Gilani thanked him for Oman’s support during the recent floods in the country.
Oman also offered help in developing rail links between Gwadar and Quetta to enhance trade opportunities for countries like Oman to reach out to the Central Asian Republics and also sought assistance from Pakistan Railways for construction of Railways in Oman. Pakistan will provide assistance in planning, designing, consultancy services, construction and operation of railways. Pakistan will also increase the number of scholarships for Omani students under the Technical Assistance project besides extending training facilities in other fields.
PM Gilani conveyed his special regards to Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al- Said and thanked him for the gift of six ambulances for the IDPs besides humanitarian assistance worth $10 million.