Australian FM urges expansion in trade ties, people-to-people contacts

07 May, 2015 6:06 pm

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister of Australia Julie Bishop met Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the PM House on Thursday.

According to a press release, the Prime Minister told the Australian FM that Pakistan and Australia enjoy close and cooperative relations in all fields and wish to strengthen them in the years to come.

Julie Bishop appreciated the Pakistan’s reform agenda which has resulted in economic growth and increased job opportunities across the country.

The Prime Minister said all economic indicators are quite encouraging. “Our growth rate is increasing gradually, which we expect to go further up in the coming years. Foreign exchange reserves have almost doubled during the tenure of this government. Stock market is one of the best ones in Asia, industry is growing and agriculture sector is looking up with good wheat and cotton crop,” he said.

The PM said Pakistan’s economy has suffered badly at the hands of terrorism and that is why an operation was launched against terrorists and is going on very successfully. He said the operation has almost eliminated terrorists’ network, hideouts and sanctuaries.

“Those who kill innocent people do not deserve any mercy.”

Australian Foreign Minister said there is lot of potential that is yet to be realised, especially among the business communities of the two countries as well as exchange of high-level delegations, people to contact and parliamentary exchanges.

The PM appreciated the support and cooperation of the Australian government including for the Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs).

He said Pakistan’s industry is suffering because of lack of energy and the government is taking urgent steps to meet energy shortage. He expressed the confidence that power outages would be done away with during the tenure of this government.

Bishhop thanked Pakistan for extending cooperation to Australia in important fields like counter terrorism, drug trafficking, trans-national crime, human smuggling and organised crime.

The Australian Foreign Minister said Australia hopes the initiatives taken by the Prime Minister would help improve relations between India and Pakistan leading to resolution of long outstanding disputes.

She also invited Nawaz Sharif to visit Australia at a time of his convenience proposing to bring along a business delegation so that the focus of the visit remains strengthening of economic and trade ties.

Matters relating to regional situation also came under discussion.

The Prime Minister asked her to convey his greetings to the Australian Prime Minister. – Web Desk

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