Gilani seeks Kazakh support in trade, energy sectors


Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Massimov on Wednesday discussed ways to broaden the canvas of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economic, energy, communications and defence. The two leaders exchanged views on a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues, in an exclusive meeting held at the Government’s House which was followed by delegation-level talks.
Prime Minister Gilani who arrived here Tuesday is visiting Kazakhstan for the first time. This is also the first bilateral visit by Pakistani leadership to this Central Asian state in 16 years after Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s visit in 1995.
Gilani and Prime Minister Massimov agreed to enhance interaction between the leaderships of two countries, parliamentarians and the business community to promote people-to-people contact.
Prime Minister said Pakistan offers lucrative investment opportunities particularly in the fields of energy and hyrdo-power generation, and added that Kazakhstan could benefit from this.
The two sides also agreed on facilitating each others’ businessmen by relaxing visa regimes, holding bilateral business forums and single country exhibitions along with launching joint ventures in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, cement, engineering goods and automobiles. Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan believed that creation of economic opportunities for the people would help in efforts to eliminate extremism and illegal drug trafficking. Gilani said Pakistan attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with Kazakhstan and considers it an important regional, political and economic player linking the Eurasia region.
He said Pakistan looked forward to the continued engagement to further expand and deepen the relationship for mutual benefit of the two peoples.
Prime Minister Massimov stressed the need for taking bilateral relations between the two countries to new heights by strengthening trade relations in particular. He highlighted the importance of people-to-people contacts for fortifying the Pak-Kazakh relations since the two countries share rich heritage and common values. The meeting was followed by delegation-level talk. The Pakistan side was represented by Minister for Production Anwar Ali Cheema, Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khosa, Senator Ghulam Ali (JUI), MNA Qamar Zaman Kaira, Secretary Defence Lt Gen Syed Athar Ali, Ambassador Akhtar Tufail and businessman Faisal Ahmad.