Islamabad: Tajik Foreign Minister Mr. Hamrakhon Zarifi received the visiting Pakistani businessmen today at the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Warmly welcoming the delegation, the Foreign Minister underscored the potential for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of hydropower, infrastructure and agriculture and the opportunities for joint ventures in various fields.
He said that peace and security of Afghanistan was of paramount importance for boosting economic and commercial activities both bilaterally and in the region. He added that Afghan situation cannot be addressed by a narrow military agenda and emphasized on the need for concerted efforts to help bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, says a press release received from Dushanbe here today.
The leader of Pakistan’s delegation Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri, Chief Executive TDAP, profusely thanked for the Tajik hospitality and stated that connectivity between the two countries would be instrumental in boosting business activities. He requested the Foreign Minister to help in making the airline operation economically viable by reducing the landing and services charges of the Dushanbe airport. He invited Tajik businessman to participate in the EXPO Pakistan 2011 that would be held in Karachi from October 20-23, 2011. He also assured that Pakistan was fully committed to support Tajikistan’s membership of the WTO and implementation of the CASA-1000 project.
Mr. Zarifi assured that he would take up the matter with the relevant authorities for reducing the airport charges and would also ask Tajik businessmen to participate in EXPO Pakistan 2011. He highly appreciated the efforts of Tajik Ambassador in Islamabad and Pakistan’s Ambassador in Dushanbe for making the business forum a joint success.
The 3rd Business Forum culminated into over one hour long meeting with President Emomali Rahmon. The Tajik President warmly welcomed the delegates and stated that in a short period of three years, the bilateral trade had increased many folds. He dwelled at length on the experiences of Tajikistan since independence and elucidated how Tajikistan recovered from the bloody civil war of 1990s.
President Rahmon identified the sectors where mutually beneficial joint ventures could be established. He enumerated clothing, education, cement and collaboration in agriculture, health, pharmacy, cotton and light industry as the main areas of cooperation.
Mr. Puri thanked Tajik President for the warm welcome and hospitality shown by the Tajik authorities. He mentioned that Pakistan attaches great importance to its brotherly good relations with Tajikistan. Stating the fulfilment of his promise of bringing a plane load of Pakistani businessmen to Tajikistan, he requested President Rahmon to match the figure in the coming “EXPO-Pakistan 2011” planned from 20-23 October 2011 to further boost the economic relations. The President promised to do so.
Mr. Puri also informed the President that during this visit two Memoranda of Understanding for cooperation were also inked viz. one between the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Tajik State Committee on Investment and the other between the Baig Group and Tajikistan Textile Complex.
On the suggestion of the Pakistan Ambassador, the leader of the delegation also requested the Tajik President to expedite allocation of land to Pakistan in Dushanbe so that before the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari in September 2011 necessary arrangements could be made for the joint foundation laying ceremony by the two Presidents for the construction of Pakistan Embassy in Dushanbe.
Earlier in the day, the delegation visited the Pakistan Study Centre at the Tajik State University. The students recited some excerpts from Allama Iqbal’s poetry and won the applause of the delegates. Later in the evening, the delegation visited one of the largest aluminium smelters of the world – Tajik Aluminium Company (TALCO) in the evening.
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