ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday stressed the need for working together to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and France in areas of trade and investment and invited French companies to invest in Pakistan.

The prime minister made these remarks during a meeting with Ambassador of France in Islamabad Nicolas Galey, who paid a courtesy call on him.

PM Shehbaz invited the French companies to invest in Pakistan and welcomed the initiative of the French side to bring corporate leaders from top French companies to Pakistan soon on a visit.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, and SAPM Tariq Fatemi, said that stabilisation of the economy was on top of the government’s agenda.

Initiatives discussed to attract and retain top talent in country; Tarar seeks strong business ties with UAE

The ambassador handed over a congratulatory letter from French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal addressed to Prime Minister Shehbaz on his re-election.

The prime minister thanked the French leadership for the message of greetings.

He said that Pakistan enjoyed friendly and cordial relations with France and, although the relationship had undergone a difficult phase a few years ago, the two countries were now working together to further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

PM Shehbaz recalled his numerous interactions with French President Emmanuel Macron, in particular their meetings on the sidelines of UNGA session in 2022, as well as on the margins of the Paris Conference on New Financing Pact on Climate Change in June 2023.

He also lauded President Macrons’ contribution through virtual participation at the Geneva Conference on Resilient Pakistan in January 2023.

The prime minister reiterated his invitation to President Macron to undertake an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

Situation in Gaza

During the meeting, the situation in Gaza was also discussed and the prime minister appreciated French peace efforts in the region.

The French ambassador said a French delegation was expected to visit Pakistan for discussions on bilateral cooperation.

In addition to strengthening of bilateral ties, he said France was keen to work closely with Pakistan in multilateral forums, including the United Nations.

Attracting top talent

The prime minister also presided over a meeting that was convened to discuss new initiatives to attract and retain top talent in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said that Pakistan must build a world-class talent pool because this was an age where talent made all the difference to a nation’s success.

The meeting was held to induct technical advisers and consultants from the private sector into public sector, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The meeting discussed ways to create a more capable workforce that could be able to deliver the government’s policy programme effectively, and also founded on the principles of impartiality and recruitment on merit.

The prime minister appointed a committee under the chairmanship of finance minister to seek and firm up propositions in the policy to enhance and clarify the work pass framework currently in vogue in ministries to better support Pakistan’s need for talent with a direction to submit its findings at the earliest.

Tarar meets UAE envoy

Meanwhile, Minister of Information Attaullah Tarar said on Wednesday that Pakistan wanted to strengthen trade and business ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

During a meeting with UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi here, Mr Tarar said that there was a need to create a common roadmap for improving the country’s economy.

The meeting discussed bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in various sectors. The minister briefed the UAE ambassador on the economic initiatives of the present government.

On his part, Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi said that according to the vision of the leadership of the two countries, the UAE believed in the further development of bilateral relations.

He said the UAE has always helped Pakistan in difficult times and it stands by Pakistan’s economic development.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2024

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