Lahore : Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday said Pakistan and Kuwait had been economic and trade partners for long and Pakistan wished to further enhance its relations with Kuwait in all spheres.
Talking to his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the Bayan Palace here, the prime minister said the Joint Ministerial Commission between the two countries provided the best platform to take stock of bilateral cooperation in various economic sectors and setting new benchmarks to carry this cooperation forward.
Referring to the level of bilateral trade between the two countries, he 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, he said.
The prime minister proposed establishing a Pakistan-Kuwait Joint Business Council (JBC) between two apex chambers of commerce to address these issues. He said 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.
He 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 on Pakistani nationals as it would remove a major hurdle in freedom of movement for the business community. He informed his Kuwaiti counterpart 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 were ample opportunities for investors, with 100% equity or joint ventures in Pakistan, he said and added over 1,000 leading multinational companies were currently successfully operating in various sectors of our economy.
The Prime Minister said 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,” he emphasized.
More than 114,000 Pakistanis live in Kuwait which was evidence of the strong ties existing between the two countries, he said adding it also confirmed the immense importance that Pakistan attached to relations with Kuwait.
Prime Minister Sharif fondly recalled visit of the Kuwaiti prime minister to Pakistan in November 2013, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
During the talks, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Chairman Board of Investment Miftah Ismaeel were also present.
The prime minister and his Kuwaiti counterpart also held one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks.
The Kuwaiti prime minister was accompanied by his minister for defence, minister for finance, minister for energy and other senior officials.
Earlier, prime minister was accorded a warm welcome upon arrival at the Bayan Palace with Guard of Honor.