ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Pakistan desires to further strengthen the economic and trade relationship with the Republic of Korea for which there is a great potential. The Prime Minister was talking to the outgoing Ambassador of Korea Kim Jooseok, who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House here on Wednesday. He appreciated Korean assistance during 2005 earthquake and underlined the need to further promote cultural exchanges between the two countries so as to facilitate people to people contacts. Pakistan’s Buddist heritage such as Taxila is an important link between the two nations, he added.
The Prime Minister said that as a result of the far-reaching reforms introduced by the government in every facet of life, Pakistan has been transformed into a country with high growth, with a business-friendly environment, rationalization of taxes and tariffs and transparency in the government transactions which had created confidence among investors and Pakistan had received record Foreign Direct Investment during the year 2006-07. He maintained while appreciating the performance of Korean companies in Pakistan expressed confidence that Pakistan’s conducive economic atmosphere will attract more investment from Korea.
Free Trade Agreement, he said, would provide free access to goods from both the countries in each others markets which would further boost trade relations. The Premier further said Pakistan and Korea have been pursuing the path of peace and have contributed towards international peace and security. Pakistan supports the six parties’ talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and expressed satisfaction over the results of the talks. While referring to the repercussions of militancy and extremism, he said, this is a global problem and needs close cooperation among all the countries of the world. Despite challenges, Pakistan is playing its role to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he added.
Referring to the issue of Korean hostages in Afghanistan, he welcomed reports about their expected release and said that Pakistan had fully condemned the taking of these Korean nationals as hostages.He appreciated the Ambassador for his contribution in promoting and strengthening ties between the two countries during his tenure.
The outgoing Korean Ambassador expressed confidence that relations between the two countries will strengthen further in all spheres as both the countries have a sense of shared values and a desire to further expand their relationship.
He acknowledged that a lot of opportunities exist for investment in Pakistan and expressed hope that more Korean investors would come to Pakistan. The free trade agreement, he said, would greatly help to increase the level of trade beyond one billion US dollars. The Ambassador said he had a pleasant stay in Pakistan and thanked the government of Pakistan for the support he received during his tenure of posting in Pakistan.-SANA