Pakistan, Belarus agree to enhance bilateral cooperation

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday said that Pakistan desired to build a broad based, substantive and long-term relationship with Belarus in all fields including trade, economic, education, defence, and culture.
The president said this in a meeting with his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko here at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The two dignitaries first had one on one meeting which was followed by the delegation level talks.
Welcoming the President of Belarus to Pakistan on his first visit, Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan valued its relations with Belarus and both the countries enjoyed a warm and a cordial relationship.
He hoped that the enhanced interactions between the two countries in recent past would further increase in the times ahead.
The president noted that the opening of a Resident Mission of Belarus in Islamabad last November has greatly contributed towards enhancing bilateral ties.
He stated that the two countries had immense potential for economic and commercial relations adding the current trade volume did not reflect true potential and could be substantially enhanced.
The president said that Pakistan offered excellent opportunities for foreign investors with investment-friendly regulations and a huge market of over 180 million people. Belarusian investors could make use of the incentives provided by the Government of Pakistan in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the President stated.
He noted that the holding of the first Pakistan-Belarus Business and Investment Forum in Islamabad on May 25, 2015 was a positive development. The impressive show from both sides was an unambiguous indicator of the scope for collaboration in diverse fields of economy, the President observed.
President Mamnoon hoped that Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting this fall in Minsk would be beneficial for enhancing trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He stated that there was a need to establish close interaction between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the two countries and to work for the establishment of Pakistan-Belarus Joint Business Council.
The President emphasized that there was a great scope of increasing bilateral relations in the fields of textile, agricultural equipment, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and transport and hoped that signing of a number of MOUs on Friday would provide a solid foundation for bilateral future cooperation in diverse areas between the two countries.
The President also called for encouraging contacts between parliamentarians of both countries as this would further the cordiality and friendship between the two countries.
He stated that Pakistan had been the worst victim of terrorism and had immensely suffered human and material losses in violent terrorist attacks.
The President emphasized that Pakistan was committed to root out the scourge of terrorism from its soil adding the entire nation was united in this resolve.
He said that the ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” was against all terrorists and it would continue till the menace of terrorism and extremism was eliminated.
President Mamnoon Hussain also extended his deepest condolences on the sad demise of the mother of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Speaking on the occasion, President of Belarus said that Pakistan was not responsible for spread of terrorism in the world and alleging Pakistan in this regard was a misperception.
He stated that his country was also keen to expand cooperation and partnership with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest for further cementing the bilateral ties.
President Alexander Lukashenko offered to assist in procuring land and construction of Pakistani Embassy in Belarus. He also extended an invitation to President Mamnoon Hussain to visit Belarus. President Mamnoon Hussain accepted the invitation to visit Belarus at the earliest convenience.
Earlier, upon arrival, President Alexander Lukashenko was warmly received by President Mamnoon Hussain at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Children attired in traditional costumes also presented bouquets to the visiting dignitary.
Later, President Mamnoon Hussain hosted a state banquet in the honour of his Belarusian counterpart.