ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Wednesday emphasizing the need to fully tap the business potential between Pakistan and Belarus, urged to work towards enhancing the bilateral trade volume from existing $50 million to $1 billion in the next four years.
“We need to encourage joint ventures and business-to-business contacts in the areas of textiles, agricultural equipment and products, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals, and automotives,” the prime minister said in a one-on-one meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko here at the PM House.
The PM emphasized that security situation in Pakistan had improved considerably, paving the way for increased economic and investment opportunities.
Welcoming the Belarusian President, the premier termed his visit “reflective of growing friendship and bilateral ties”.
“I am very pleased to note that our bilateral relationship is expanding in diverse areas. We need to maintain this momentum,” PM Nawaz said.
He mentioned that Pakistan and Belarus had signed over 50 agreements and MoUs in the last 16 months and hoped that both sides would sign more accords during this visit.
President Lukashenko thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcomed extended to him and his delegation in Pakistan.
Alexander Lukashenko said Belarus was eager to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields and sectors.
He stressed that Pakistan and Belarus needed to fully capitalise the huge potential for the benefit of their people.
18 accords of cooperation signed
The two countries signed note on Exchange of Instruments of Ratification on ‘Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation’, on legal assistance in civil and commercial matters, and on customs matters.
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei signed the three documents.
An MoU was signed between State Bank of Pakistan and National Bank of Belarus, by Governor SPB Saeed Ahmed and Deputy Chairman of the Board of National Bank Mamanovich Petr.
A Protocol amending the convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasian with respect to Taxes on Income was inked by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister of Taxation and Revenue Sergei Nalvaiko.
Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman and Belarusian Education Minister Mikhail Zhuravkov signed eight accords in education sector of Pakistan and Belarus.
These include an MoU in vocational training between the education ministries, and seven agreements between the top universities of two countries in the fields of mutual recognition of educational certificates, establishment of Urdu and Belarusian language chairs, and academic and innovative research.
The agreements on education took place among Pakistan’s National University of Modern Languages and Quaid-e-Azam University and Minsk’s State Linguistic University, Belarusian State Technological University and Belarusian State University of Culture.
The Air Services agreement between Pakistan and Belarus was signed by Secretary Aviation Muhammad Irfan Elahi and Director of Belarus Aviation Department Kostin Vladimir.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and National Centre for Marketing and belarus’ Price Study of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was signed by Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan and Belarusian Foreign Affairs Minister Markei Vladimir.
The MoU between Pakistan’s Ministry of Communications and Ministry of Communications and Information of Belarus in sphere of postal activities was inked by Secretary Communication Khalid Masood and Ambassador of Belarus Andrei Emolovich.