Spotlight on economic ties during Bilawal’s Euro-trip

Published August 21, 2022
In this file photo, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari speaks on the floor of the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari speaks on the floor of the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: In a move to strengthen bilateral cooperation and economic ties, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will visit four European countries in his maiden trip to the continent from Aug 22 to 26.

During the five-day trip, the foreign minister will visit Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

According to Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, besides the political aspect of relations with these countries, trade and economic ties will be a ‘strong focus’ of the foreign minister’s agenda for the trip.

The four countries were significant for Pakistan’s ties with Europe because of the strong presence of Pakistani diaspora in these countries and their investments in Pakistan, he added.

In his interactions with his counterparts and other high ranking officials during the trip, the foreign minister would emphasise on further deepening bilateral economic engagement, in addition to exploring opportunities for Pakistanis in those countries.

With regards to Germany, several high-level engagements have taken place between the two countries, both at political and military level, suggesting the importance the two countries were attaching to their ties. Moreover, German firms have also demonstrated interest in investing in Pakistan.

“Pakistan has long-standing and multi-dimensional relations with Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway,” the spokesperson said, adding that these countries are home to a sizable Pakistani community and preferred destinations for Pakistani students to pursue higher education.

These countries also have significant investment ties with Pakistan, Mr Iftikhar added.

“The foreign minister’s visits will impart further impetus to Pakistan’s multi-faceted engagement with these countries.”

Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s trip was being seen as an opportunity to consolidate and expand bilateral cooperation with European partners and strengthen engagement with the continent in general, said the spokesperson.

The foreign minister was also scheduled to sign a “Green Framework Engagement” agreement with Denmark, focusing on climate change cooperation.

The foreign minister would also share Pakistan’s perspective on regional and global issues, the FO spokesperson said about the visit.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2022

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