PESHAWAR: National day of the Czech Republic was celebrated here in the Honorary Consulate on Thursday with pledges for promotion of trade, economic and friendly diplomatic relations between both countries.
Those who attended were Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, former KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, KP Minister for labour & Culture, Shaukat Yousafzai and a large number of local politicians and notables of the province.
On this occasion, a cake was also cut to formally celebrate the national day. The day celebrated on October 28 is known as the Foundation of the Independent Czechoslovak State in 1918 when Czechoslovakia was created. But, due to Covid-19 the celebration was delayed in KP.
Addressing the function, speaker KP assembly, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani appreciated the efforts of the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic for promotion of bilateral relations in the fields of trade, investment, education and culture for the benefit of the people of the province.
The Speaker on behalf of the provincial government extended full support to the Czech Republic and said that they are looking forward to establishing long-term relations with the republic.
The nexus, he said will not only strengthen ties between both countries, but will also pave way for enhancement of bilateral relations especially in the fields of trade, investment, education and culture as well as tourism. He felicitated Czech Republic on her National Day.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador of Czech Republic, Tomas Smetanka said he is visiting Peshawar for third time and will pay more visits to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to explore it and bring further improvement in trade, economic and bilateral relations between both countries.
Earlier, the Honorary Consul-General of the Czech Republic, Assad Saifulah Khan said that both countries have always enjoyed friendly relations and during the recent times, it has witnessed upward trajectory.
In 2015, he said the two countries organised a number of events to celebrate 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, which kick-started in the beginning of the year and concluded in September 2015.
The visits of the Federal Minister for Defence Production and the Federal Minister for Railways to Czech Republic has promoted defence cooperation and opened the door for potential cooperation in the field of railways while the visit of Tomas Kuchta, Deputy Minister of Defence to Pakistan, along with representatives of the Czech defence companies in October 2015, further cemented and consolidated defence cooperation between both countries.
Assad Saifullah Khan said that though the both countries enjoy good relations, the volume of the bilateral trade also has to grow, with many opportunities of huge potential.
He said that Pakistan’s exports to Czech Republic in 2019-20 were just 47.3 million US$ and in the year 2018-19 was 48.4 million US$ whereas Pakistan’s import was 28.4 million US$ and 42.2 million US$ in 2018-19.
The main exports of Pakistan to the Czech Republic are textile and leather products while Pakistan imports machinery, paper and paperboard and electrical and electronic equipment that could be doubled in next three years.
Like Czech Republic, he said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has huge potential in sectors other than industry, such as tourism, music and sports, but these sectors have not been explored to the maximum level. As the Czech Republic has vast experience in these sectors.
Assad Saifullah Khan said that the provincial government, business community and especially the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are looking towards the Czech Republic in this regard.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021