Diplomatic President offers S Korea a free trade and currency swap agreement

District General

Seoul: President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday offered Korea a Free Trade and a Currency Swap Agreement and proposed increased import of manpower from Pakistan. The President made this offer in his summit level meeting with Mr. Lee Myung-Bak, President of the Republic of Korea at Office of the President in Seoul Korea.

President Asif Ali Zardari was assisted in the summit level talks by Senator Chaudhry Shujat Hussain former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, Commerce Minister, Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Water and Power, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Arif Azam, Secretary Railways , S. Anjum Bashir, Secretary BOI, Mr. Raghib Abbas Shah, Chairman WAPDA, Mr. Shaukat Ali Mukaddam, Pakistan’s ambassador in Korea and other senior officials.

The President said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with South Korea in the context of its Vision East Asia Policy, adding that two countries also enjoy historical and cultural linkages spanning centuries.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction that bilateral cooperation during the past three decades have expanded and intensified in various areas and urged for further enhancing bilateral trade and investment ties to the mutual benefit.

The two leaders were pleased to note that the two countries shall be celebrating next year, the 30th anniversary of establishment of ambassador level relations and expressed hope that foreign ministries and diplomatic missions of the two countries would together work out a comprehensive plan of activities for year 2013 to celebrate this joyous and momentous moment in Pak Korea relations.

President Zardari while highlighting the immense investment potential said that Pakistan has huge coal reserves of about 185 billion tons, potential Hydel power, wind corridors and year round sunlight, which the President said could be harnessed with Korean assistance by setting up coal fired power plants, dams wind farms and solar plants.

President Zardari , who is also accompanied with a large business delegation comprising chairmans and CEOs of leading companies operating in Pakistan , said that Islamabad was keen to Pak-Korea bilateral trade ties to new height sans expressed hope that mutual interaction of businessmen and entrepreneurs of the two countries would help explore new avenues for investment and trade.

He urged for frequent exchange of business delegations which, he said was crucial for optimum utilization of the huge trade potential available in the two countries.

Highlighting huge investment opportunities the President urged the need for concerted steps on both sides including business community for bolstering the current trade volume of over $ 1.6 billion between the two countries to a level of $ 5 billion in the next five years.

He also stressed the need for establishment of Direct Air Links and Strengthening of cooperation in the Agriculture through Overseas Development Assistance ODA. These steps, the President said, will help boost trade and economic cooperation.

President Zardari said that we are deeply impressed with the economic progress achieved by the Republic of Korea under the visionary leadership adding that Pakistan was keen to learn from Korean experience.

On strengthening cooperation in Manpower and Education ,President Zardari said that sizeable Pakistani students are studying in various Universities in Korea and called for enhancing the number of scholarships for Pakistani students besides absorbing more Pakistani manpower as Pakistan have sufficient skilled manpower and can meet South Korea`s additional manpower needs.

President Zardari thanked Mr. Lee Myung-bak for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during stay in the beautiful and vibrant city of Seoul. The President appreciated Korea`s assistance to Pakistan through the FoDP forum and during devastating floods in the country.

On nuclear issue, President Zardari reiterated that Pakistan supports a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula and Six Party Talks.

On reforms in Security Council, President Zardari said that reformed Security Council should reflect interest of the wider UN.

He also congratulated the Korean president on getting the seat of the Secretariat of Green Climate Fund GCF and non-permanent membership of the UNSC for the term 20132014.

He thanked Korea for the support to Pakistan on Human Rights Council of United Nations .Discussing Counterterrorism efforts, President Zardari said that Pakistan has suffered huge loss both human and material in the fight against militancy an terrorism and assured that Pakistan would continue fighting this menace till its complete elimination so that our future generations could live in a peaceful atmosphere without any fear.

Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea said that visit of President Zardari and his delegation would serve full opportunity to further solidify the already existing close bilateral relations.

He assured that Korea would continue to extend all possible support to the government and people of Pakistan in every hour of need.

The two Presidents also witnessed signing of an MoU and an agreement in the fields of Railway and economy. MoU on development cooperation on the railroad was signed between Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs MLTM of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Railways Pakistan.

Korean vice Minister for Transport logistics and Maritime Affairs and Pakistan’s Secretary Railway. A framework agreement on Grant Aid between the two countries aimed at sustainable economic and social development in Pakistan was signed by Mr. Kim Sung Hwan, Korean minister of foreign affairs and trade and Pakistan’s ambassador to Korea Mr. Shaukat Ali Mukaddam.