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MANAMA, (Bahrain): Pakistan’s ambassador to Bahrain Muhammad Ayub has said that a long term plan was being worked out to transform the bilateral ties with Bahrain into a strong economic partnership, a win-win situation for both countries and peoples.

In an exclusive chat with APP on Monday, the envoy said, “I see a lot of mutually beneficial opportunities in the areas of trade, investment, food security, energy, tourism, higher education, training and development.”

In the investment sector, he said, China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) offered enormous opportunities to investors from Bahrain, especially the energy sector.

“Pakistan’s geo-strategic location makes it a regional economic hub and an energy corridor. Likewise, Bahrain’s location makes it an ideal gateway to Gulf Cooperation Council’s countries,” he remarked.

Pakistan was an attractive tourists destination, he said and added, “We invite our friends from Bahrain to explore its scenic beauty and benefit from the huge investments opportunities in this sector, especially in the infrastructure projects such as hotels, resorts and parks.” Reciprocally, efforts are being made to bring tourists from Pakistan here, he added.

Regarding investment opportunities in food industry, ambassador said Bahraini investors can join the potential investment areas of food storage, processing, packaging and transportation in Pakistan to earn reasonable profit.

To a question regarding Bahrain’s support on Kashmir issue, the envoy said it was one of the key feature of diplomatic endeavours and it not only supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir but also on the forum of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

About the diaspora’s specific issues, the envoy reaffirmed his commitment to provide uninterrupted online and consular services to Pakistanis residing here.

He said he was personally making sure that embassy official remain vigilant to ensure optimum facilitation to overseas, especially the skilled labour who are country’s real asset.

The digitalisation process for strong connectivity of the different embassies and consular services with diaspora was underway which would ultimately help resolve migrants’ issues.

Ayub also lauded Bahraini government for effectively tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and said all five vaccines were available to all citizens and residents, free of cost.

“Exchanges of business delegates, students, media and tourists are on the cards. For promoting people-to-people contacts, the visa fee has been reduced, and for Bahraini travellers there is a visa-on-arrival facility,” he added.

Mentioning the crucial role played by the Pakistanis in Pak-Bahrain relations, Ambassador Ayub said that over 100,000 Pakistanis living here were a great source of pride for the country who were also making valuable contributions to the socio-economic development of the Kingdom. “They are properly taken care of, as witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic, for which we are thankful to the Bahraini government,” the envoy said.

“The year 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. We are celebrating the epoch-making milestone with a renewed commitment to strengthen the existing ties in all areas and are determined to turn this relationship into an economic partnership,” the ambassador said.

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