Caretaker PM underscores need to enhance trade, economic linkages with African countries

 Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday, while acknowledging that Pakistan and Africa had enjoyed excellent political relations over the years, stressed the need to enhance trade and economic linkages which were yet to realize their full potential.

He also highlighted the importance Pakistan attached to Africa and expressed the desire to strengthen ties with African countries, at the bilateral as well as regional level.

The prime minister met a group of resident envoys representing African countries as well as select Asian countries over lunch, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The meeting was attended by the Ambassadors of Algeria and Sudan as well as High Commissioners of Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Mauritius, and South Africa. Other participants included the Charges d’ Affaires of Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.

The caretaker prime minster mentioned that the 4th Pakistan-Africa Trade Conference was underway in Cairo, Egypt from January 9-11 where Pakistan was represented by a large business delegation led by the commerce minister.

PM Kakar also expressed deep appreciation for Pakistan’s historic ties with the Southeast Asian countries, particularly Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

He said Pakistan was keen to expand bilateral trade ties with the key countries and sought their assistance in strengthening its engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Referring to the ongoing situation in Gaza, the prime minister stressed the need for dialogue among nations and for intensifying collective efforts to end the violence and bring lasting peace in Palestine.

He also praised the diplomatic envoys for their efforts to build stronger ties with Pakistan and their respective countries.

The diplomats thanked the caretaker prime minister for sparing time to interact with them and said they would continue to work closely with Pakistan to enhance bilateral relations.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga