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Last Updated:[02-09-2009 09:02:22 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Pakistan Cashes in on Libyan Anniversary to Promote Trade

tradenews The Pakistani delegation headed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has fully utilized the opportunity provided by the 40th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution (Al-Fateh) to facilitate bilateral ties with the host and other participating nations. During the three-day visit to Libya Gilani met leaders from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Malta apart from the host nation to ensure further co-operation in bilateral trade.

Gilani after meeting Libyan government representatives confirmed that Libya would invest $147bn for housing development in Pakistan spanning next five years, and Pakistan could export cement and other such material to Libya. He also said visa related problems to the Pakistani businessmen in Libya would be sorted out soon, and informed that the Libyan labour minister would visit Pakistan to rope in the services of human resources of the country. Pakistan indicated that it wished joint oil and gas exploration and extensive co-operation in related fields.

While Gilani met President George Abella of Malta, he said that besides improving bilateral ties with Malta, hoped to get the backing of Abella in acquiring GSP Plus facilities for Pakistani products to the EU market as Malta is an EU member. The Generalized System of Preferences or GSP is a formal system of exemption from the more general rules of the WTO. Pakistan is understood to have got assurance from Malta to mediate in getting GSP Plus status attached to the FTA with the EU at the forthcoming EU ministerial meeting in Stockholm.

Gilani and the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse acknowledged that both countries’ co-operation through an FTA since 2005 saw manifold growth in two-way trade. Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka reached 214mn in 2007-08 from about 98mn in 2003-04. Sri Lanka is Pakistan’s major buyers of defense equipments and rail wagons.

At the sidelines of the anniversary, Gilani also met separately with President of the Philippines Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and agreed to have broad spectrum collaboration in all areas between both countries. During the visit, the Pakistani PM was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Privatization Syed Naveed Qamar, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Libya Jamil Ahmad Khan and other senior officials.

By Jose Roy

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