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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Singapore, on Thursday, renewed strong desire and resolve to consolidate and further enhance cooperation in diverse fields in line with their shared objectives of peace and development.

The two sides held Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) in virtual format, in which, Pakistan’s side also invited Singaporean companies to explore emerging investment opportunities in Pakistan in sectors such as digital economy, Fintech and agro-food, besides China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)-related special economic zones (SEZs).

Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific) and Ng Teck Hean, Deputy Secretary, Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, led their respective delegations.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, the entire gamut of bilateral relations – covering cooperation in political, economic, defence and security, academic, science and technology, technical training, environment, culture and tourism domains – came under discussion.

Welcoming the steady progression in multi-dimensional bilateral relations over the years, based on mutual trust and understanding, the two sides renewed strong desire and resolve to consolidate and further enhance cooperation in diverse fields in line with their shared objectives of peace and development.

They noted the importance of regular interaction and dialogue under existing mechanisms and exchange of high-level visits to impart further momentum to the relationship.

The additional secretary (AP) highlighted Pakistan’s focus on geo-economics leveraging peace and security, development partnerships, and connectivity. He stressed the importance of translating the long-standing friendship and political goodwill between Pakistan and Singapore into mutually-beneficial substantive economic relationship with focus on trade and investment, connectivity and development cooperation given that the two countries were gateways to their respective regions.

He also thanked the government of Singapore for the generous donations by Temasek Foundation to assist Pakistan’s Covid-19 response in the early phase of the pandemic. The deputy secretary said Singapore looked forward to expanding cooperation in existing and new fields of mutual interest, and enhancing bilateral exchanges especially high-level visits.

The two sides also noted the complementarities and potential of trade in services. Singaporean companies were invited to explore emerging investment opportunities in Pakistan in sectors such as digital economy, Fintech and agro-food, besides CPEC-related SEZs.

In the context of regional situation, the additional secretary (AP) shared Pakistan’s perspective on Afghanistan, and the imperative of a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for regional peace and stability.

“The two sides also exchanged views on ASEAN, and Pakistan’s Full Dialogue Partnership. It was also agreed to continue close cooperation in the multilateral domain particularly at the United Nations,” it added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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