ISLAMABAD: As cooperation with South Korea on alternative energy sources including infrastructure will be increased, cooperation will also be promoted in the field of technology, Minister for Energy Khurram Dastagir said on Thursday.

He was among the guest speakers at the Pak-Korea Infrastructure Business Forum arranged at the Serena Hotel. Pakistani parliamentarians at the event drew South Korea’s attention towards the room for further investment in businesses in Pakistan, especially in the tourism sector.

“Korean companies played an important role in the construction of the motorway. In the 21st century, with the world rapidly progressing, Pakistan needs to turn to Korea and find new ways to progress.Today, Korea has overtaken Pakistan and would need assistance as Pakistan has also decided to switch to alternative energy and lessen its dependence on fossil fuel,” he said.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Suh Sangpyo recognised Pakistan as an important economic player in the region and advocated and endorsed increased cooperation in energy and infrastructure development in Pakistan. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan must harness economic opportunities offered by friendly countries.

“It is vital to benefit from the advancement and developments South Korea made in various sectors. Our relationship should be transformed into economic partnership in the form of foreign direct investment and trade. The world is defined by economics more than politics,” the minister said.

There are immense opportunities for development in the infrastructure of Pakistan through public-private partnership in various sectors, he said.

“Pakistan’s young population offers immense opportunities to South Korean technology companies, to set up research and design centres. The tourism sector is under-utilised. Pakistan has much to offer in terms of its Gandhara civilisation, to forge a cultural relationship,” Mr Iqbal said.

In his remarks, Minister of Investment Board Chaudhry Salik Hussain also invited Korea to invest in goods transportation and the urban transport sector in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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