PM Abbasi, President Widodo exchange views on bilateral relations, shared interest
Islamabad, Jakarta ready to work together for gradually taking PTA to FTA level
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Saturday held an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and a wide range of international and regional issues of shared interest.
After the conversation, the two leaders reaffirmed that the people of Pakistan and Indonesia shared deep political, cultural, religious ties and respect for democratic values. Being the largest countries in the Islamic world, the two stood together for their progress, prosperity, stability, security and territorial integrity.
Besides agreeing to strengthen their defence and security cooperation, the two leaders also agreed to intensify counter-terrorism cooperation. Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts. The two leaders agreed that there was a need to improve the trade imbalance.
They acknowledged that there was considerable untapped potential to expand trade, taking advantage of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). The two side agreed to further increase tariff lines under the existing mechanism between the two countries. There was also unanimity of views to work together for gradually taking PTA to the level of the Free Trade Agreement.
The two leaders emphasised the importance of cooperation at the multilateral forums. Indonesia reiterated its support for Pakistan’s bid for full dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Indonesia also assured Pakistan to support its bid for Indian-Ocean Rim Association.
Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity and development including through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Indonesian businessmen could benefit from the vast investment opportunities, offered by the CPEC.
About regional situation, Prime Minister Abbasi briefed the visiting president about Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He also appreciated Indonesia’s desire to assist Afghanistan in peace and reconciliation which was vital for regional security.
He briefed President Widodo on the steps taken by Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues with India including the core issue of Jammu Kashmir. He highlighted the grave human rights situation in the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). After their talks, Prime Minister Abbasi and President Widodo attended a signing ceremony of MoUs/agreement between the two countries.
The agreement and memorandums signed include MoU on import of LNG and POL products from Indonesia, additional protocol to Preferential Trade Agreement for 20 new tariff lines, MoU on trade facilitation and MoU between Foreign Service Academy and Centre of Training and Education Indonesia.
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