Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif held meeting and delegation level talks with the Prime Minister of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the Bayan Palace, Kuwait today.
PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif fondly recalled visit of the Kuwaiti PM to Pakistan in November 2013, coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
The PM stated that more than 114,000 Pakistanis live in Kuwait which was evidence of the strong ties existing between the two countries. It also confirmed the immense importance that Pakistan attaches to relations with Kuwait.
PM pointed out that Pakistan and Kuwait have been economic and trade partners for long and Pakistan wished to further enhance its relations with Kuwait in all spheres. The Joint Ministerial Commission provides the best platform to take stock of bilateral cooperation in various economic sectors and setting new benchmarks to carry this cooperation forward, added the PM.
Referring to the level of bilateral trade between the two countries, the PM reiterated that this needed to be further enhanced to its fullest potential. Encouraging greater private sector interaction could enhance the existing level of trade as well as bridge the imbalance in existing trade patterns, stated the PM.
The PM proposed establishing a Pakistan-Kuwait Joint Business Council (JBC) between two apex Chambers of Commerce to address these issues. The PM also stated that there was great potential for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, construction, poultry, livestock and fisheries and to this end meetings of experts of the two countries be held to work out a plan of action.
The PM also emphasized the importance of early resumption of GCC- Pakistan Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the support of Kuwait and most importantly spoke of the need for lifting of visa restrictions at it would remove a major hurdle in freedom of movement for the business community.
The PM stressed that Pakistan was an investment friendly country and an attractive destination for foreign investors, due to its liberal investment policy and high rate of return. There are ample opportunities for investors, with 100% equity or joint ventures in Pakistan. Over 1,000 leading multinational companies are currently successfully operating in various sectors of our economy, added the PM.
The PM informed that there were a number of energy and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan that could be considered by foreign investors. We would welcome further investments from Kuwait in mega infrastructure and energy projects being undertaken in Pakistan, the PM emphasized.
During the talks, the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr. Tariq Fatemi and Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Miftah Ismaeel were also present.
The Kuwaiti Prime Minister was accompanied by his Minister for Defence, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Energy and other senior officials.
Earlier the PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was accorded a warm welcome upon arrival at the Bayan Palace with Guard of Honor.