Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Korean President Ms. Park Geun-hye and President of Senegal Macky Sall on the sidelines of the 70th UNGA Session in New York on Sunday.
During meeting with ROK President, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the positive trajectory of bilateral relations. Pakistan proposed to establish a mechanism for Strategic Dialogue at the Foreign Ministers level.
On trade and investment, the Prime Minister lauded the role of Korean investors in Pakistan and invited more Korean companies to invest in Pakistan in special economic zones, especially in the energy sector. Current bilateral trade volume is around US$ 1.17 billion. To boost bilateral trade, a Free Trade Agreement is being explored. A pre-feasibility on the Pak-Korea FTA has already been commissioned and is expected to be completed by July 2016.
At the multilateral level, enhanced cooperation in the UN was discussed. As members of the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group, both Pakistan and Republic of Korea have a convergence of views on UN reform, particularly on expansion of the UN Security Council. The two countries agreed to coordinate closely to support each other’s candidatures for various UN bodies over the next few years.
Both leaders also discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s relations with India.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister reiterated an invitation to the President of Republic of Korea to visit Pakistan which was accepted.
The President of Senegal hailed Pakistan as one of the most important Muslim countries with a prominent role in OIC and the Muslim Ummah. President Sall praised Pakistan’s contribution to counter-terrorism and expressed his country’s interest in defence cooperation, including procurement of defence equipment from Pakistan. He also sought to benefit from Pakistan’s expertise in agriculture, scientific research and science & technology.
Both leaders agreed to explore ways to enhance bilateral trade volume from its current level of US$ 37 million. Early convening of the inaugural session of Joint Ministerial Commission would prove useful in this regard.
The Prime Minister also invited companies from Senegal to invest in Pakistan to take advantage of its liberal investment regime.
At the multilateral level, cooperation in the UN and OIC was discussed. Pakistan’s position on UN reform, particularly expansion of the UN Security Council was shared with the Senegalese side.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister extended an invitation to the Senegalese President to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. He also requested Senegal to open its Embassy in Islamabad soon.