Pakistan, UK agree to enhance bilateral, trade ties

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London: Acknowledging the potential for continued growth, Pakistan and United Kingdom have agreed to enhance bilateral trade.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz held meetings with British National Security Adviser (NSA) Sir Mark Lyall-Grant and British Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sir Ciaran Devane as part of the review of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

Grant much-admired Pakistan’s efforts to control extremism and offered UK’s continued support in timely and effective implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

In a joint statement issued here, they agreed to increase trade and investment between the two countries.

To enhance the cultural engagement, it was also agreed that a new cultural road-map would be signed between Pakistan and the UK. The new road-map would focus on collaboration in arts, archaeology, research and develop partnerships to support heritage, museums and the creative industries.

Pakistan and United Kingdom agreed to establish a joint Pakistan-UK Business Council comprising leading businessmen to be nominated by their own governments.

The adviser emphasized on the need for re-invigorating the cultural and educational connections between the two countries. Both sides decided to expand British Council’s activities in Pakistan with opening libraries and cultural centres in Karachi and Lahore along with a digital library available to millions of Pakistanis.

Aziz was on an official visit to the UK to participate in the third ministerial review of the Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue from April 18 to 20.

The adviser also highlighted Pakistan’s policy of “peaceful neighbourhood” and briefed his interlocutor on the steps taken by Pakistan to improve relations with its neighbours including India and Afghanistan.

The Adviser also said that government is vigorously focusing on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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