PAKISTAN has always given immense importance to its relationship with the Gulf countries. Bahrain is amongst the countries with which Pakistan enjoys one of the most cordial brotherly relations. Firmly rooted in common faith and history, these relations have always remained strong.
This warmth was yet again seen during the three-day visit of Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa to Manama where he held wide ranging talks with the civil and military leadership of Bahrain and was conferred upon Bahrain Order (First Class). During meetings with the COAS, the Bahrain leadership reaffirmed their special relationship with Pakistan and pledged to keep working for even better relations between the two brotherly nations. This really implies the level of understanding, trust and goodwill that exists between both the countries that need to be fully exploited by promoting trade and economic cooperation. Our geographical proximity and the presence of a large number of Pakistanis in Bahrain ensure that our socio-economic ties continue to grow. Our people make up a large part of Bahraini force and it is because of their meritorious services that the people of Pakistan are widely regarded in the Kingdom. Nonetheless, the level of trade between the two countries does not commensurate with this excellent relationship. As our government is looking forward for increasing exports, the Gulf region including Bahrain must be amongst top destinations for the whole range of our products ranging from food items to textiles. There is a need to enhance the level of engagements with Bahrain at different levels to bolster our exports to Kingdom. Similarly, these engagements should focus on building a strong economic partnership. Apart from energy sector, there is a great scope of cooperation in the area of agriculture. Bahrain’s arable land is only 2.1 per cent of its total area out of which less than half is equipped with irrigation facilities. Therefore, Bahrain is highly reliant on imports to feed its population. On other hand, Pakistan has much greater agrarian capacities. This provides an avenue to Bahraini companies to invest in Pakistan and in return export crop produce back to Bahrain. This will be a win-win situation as the Bahraini investment will also increase our agriculture output which will lead to enhanced funding for research and development in sector.