Islamabad, November 21, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari today offered Indonesia to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector and avail the enormous opportunities and the liberal incentive packages the government was extending to the entrepreneurs and investors for investment in energy and other sectors.
The economies of the two countries have many complementarities, and we can draw tremendous mutual benefits through increased economic and commercial cooperation, the President said. He urged for further enhancing bilateral trade as the current trade volume was not commensurate with the existing cordial and friendly political ties between the two countries.
During his meeting with Indonesian counterpart Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, at the Aiwan-e- Sadr today on the sidelines of eighth D-8 summit being held in Islamabad, President Asif Ali Zardari called for expeditious implementation of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that was signed in February 2012 and emphasized the need for the two countries to move forward towards Free Trade Agreement.
The President said that Pakistan presents a tremendous potential to Indonesian investors in the energy sector and added that Pakistan could benefit from the expertise Indonesia has gained in running Thermal Power Plants on coal.
He said that 186 billion tonnes huge coal reserves are ready to be converted into electricity, gas and diesel and the Indonesian investors can avail this huge potential to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
The President while welcoming his Indonesian counterpart Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Pakistan accords high priority to its close bilateral relationship with Indonesia and thanked the Indonesian assistance to the government and people of Pakistan in devastating floods in 2010. President Zardari also appreciated Indonesian help to control Dengue fever in 2011 in Pakistan.
President Zardari urged the need for early convening of the Joint Commission between the two countries and said that early implementation of Visa Abolition Agreement on Diplomatic and Official Passports would help facilitate contacts at official level besides further strengthening bilateral ties.
On government’s steps for peace and stability in the region, the President said that trade with India has been liberalized and transit trade agreement with Afghanistan has also been signed to promote peace and development in the region. He said that Pakistan while pursuing liberal trade policy has signed currency swap agreements with a number of countries.
The Spokesperson said that President also urged for opening bank braches in each other’s countries and encouraging frequent exchange of trade and business delegations, which he said would help promote bilateral trade and investment ties.
The President expressed confidence on Indonesia’s pro-active support for Pakistan’s Full Dialogue Partner status with ASEAN.
On fight against militancy, the President said that Pakistan has rendered huge sacrifices both human and material in the ongoing fight against militancy and reiterated that Pakistan would continue the fight till its logical end. The two leaders also expressed satisfaction on the current state of cooperation in countering terrorism.
Discussing regional situation, President Zardari reiterated that Pakistan stood for peace, stability and security in Syria and said that Pakistan was deeply concerned over the continuing bloodshed of innocent civilians in Syria.
The President said that Pakistan supports independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and that it would continue supporting any initiative aimed at bringing peace and stability in Syria in accordance with aspirations of the people of Syria and without any foreign interference.
On situation in Afghanistan, President Zardari said that Pakistan would continue to support an Afghan-led, and Afghan-owned reconciliation and peace process in Afghanistan, as this was the most viable way of ensuring peace and development in the country.
The meeting was attended by among others by Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign Miniseter, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, finance minister, Mr. Farook H. Naek, Law Minster, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, secretary General to the President, Spokesperson to the President senator Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials.
The Indonesian President was assisted among others by Mr. Dioko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Mr. M. Hatta Rajasa, Coordinating Minister for economic affairs, MR. M. Marty M. Natalegawa, minister for foreign affairs, Mr. Mohammad Suleiman Hidayat, Minister of Industry, Mr. Gita Irawan Wirjawan, minister for trade, Mr. Burhan Muhammad, ambassador of Indonesia in Pakistan and other high officials.
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