Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:30:53
President Zardari meets Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev
Baku (Azerbaijan), October 16 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Azerbaijan and desires to further strengthen Pak- Azerbaijan trade and commercial ties to the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The President said this while talking to the Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev here on Tuesday at the sidelines of the 12th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit at Baku.
The two leaders discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest with particular focus on trade and economic relations and cooperation in diverse fields.
The President said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoy excellent political relations with tremendous reservoir of goodwill and respect for Pakistan and its people, he, however, added that the economic relationship between the two countries was far below its potential.
The President urged for enhancing people to people contacts between the two countries, which he said would help solidifying friendship between the two countries. He said that Pakistan was satisfied with successful development of our bilateral relations in different fields, however, our bilateral trade volume is not commensurate with the potential that exists between the two countries in the field of commerce and trade.
He said Pakistan believes that a soft visa regime for Pakistani businessmen will further improve Commercial and investment ties between the two counties.
He said Pakistan has enormous expertise in the field of textile and can assist Azerbaijan in setting textile industry for the consumption of locally produced cotton. Similarly Pakistan's expertise in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, cement, and sugar plants as well as development of telecommunication and construction sectors could be provided to Azerbaijan, the President said and added that both the countries can initiate some joint ventures in these fields.
The President also offered Pakistan's assistance to Azerbaijan in development of its agriculture sector. President Zardari said that resumption of direct flights between the two countries would enhance bilateral trade cooperation and boost people-to-people contacts.
President Zardari congratulated Ilham Aliyev on the 20th anniversary of Pakistan-Azerbaijan diplomatic relations and said that Azerbaijan has achieved tremendous progress and development in a short time under the able and dynamic leadership of Ilham Aliyev. The President wished Azerbaijan for all-round progress and prosperity.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said that the cordial relations between the two countries would further improve and added that Pakistan can benefit from Azerbaijan's vast experience in the fields of oil, chemical industry and metallurgy, by training its personnel in Azerbaijan and sharing technical know-how.
The two leaders shared the optimism that more exchanges between businessmen and private sectors of the two countries can unleash the huge latent potential of their educated and skilled people.
The two leaders noted with appreciation that both countries cooperate with each other very closely at various multilateral forums which was a manifestation of our strong ties, adding that last year, Pakistan and Azerbaijan were elected as members of UNSC and both countries mutually supported each other's candidacy.
Hina Rabbani Khar, foreign minister was also present during the meeting.