Zardari, Khalifa resolve to expand trade

Nov 25 2008


ABU DHABI, Nov 24: President Asif Ali Zardari and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan have expressed their resolve to upgrade and strengthen bilateral ties, particularly in the fields of trade and economy.

President Zardari, who had arrived here on Monday on a two-day official visit, held wide-ranging talks with the UAE leader.

The talks focussed on establishing a comprehensive strategic and economic partnership. Regional and international issues were also discussed.

During their one-to-one meeting, the two leaders agreed on the need to expand and strengthen cooperation in various fields.

Talks held at the delegation level focussed on encouraging public and private sector investments from the United Arab Emirates in joint ventures in the fields of energy, agriculture, construction and infrastructure development.

The two leaders stressed the need for joint efforts to improve the security situation in the region.

President Zardari stressed the need for increased coordination for international peace and security.

The UAE president showed keen interest in peace and security of the region, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

President Zardari praised UAE’s support for Pakistan at the Friends of Pakistan forum at its recent meeting.

The two presidents recalled the farewell meeting between former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Sheikh Khalifa before she left the UAE for Pakistan last year.

President Khalifa hosted a lunch in honour of the president and the accompanying delegation.

In the evening, the UAE president paid a courtesy call on President Zardari.

On his arrival in Abu Dhabi, Mr Zardari was received by Sheikh Khalifa.

From the Amiri Airport, President Zardari and Sheikh Khalifa drove to Al Mushef Palace.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rahman Malik said that during the talks President Zardari had expressed the desire for early transportation to Pakistan of a 400 megawatt plant which the UAE had already offered.

INVESTMENT: Heads of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Etisalat called on President Zardari and expressed their keenness to increase their investment in different fields in Pakistan.

The president promised his government’s support in setting up and expanding their businesses in Pakistan. He briefed them on the business opportunities in various fields, particularly infrastructure, energy and telecommunication, and the government’s investment-friendly policies.

The director-general of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, told journalists that the fund would soon send a delegation to Pakistan to explore new avenues for investment.

Etisalat Chairman Mohammad Hassan Omran said the company had huge investment in Pakistan’s telecom sector, including a 26 per cent stake in the PTCL, and it planned more investments in different fields.--APP