Pak-NZ ties: Past & future prospects

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Dr Syed Mehboob

Pakistan and New Zealand are two friendly countries. They have successful track record of bilateral cooperation. Both countries are striving to promote peace, cooperation, and elimination of terrorism, extremism, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance. After 15 March 2019 when a terrorist committed a heinous crime against humanity and organized a well-planned cold blood killing of innocent Muslims at Masjid Al-Noor, at Christ Church where 50 people martyred and another 43 were injured. The way Prime Minister handled the situation and the way the bereaved families behaved and exhibited exemplary patience, tolerance and gave the message to terrorist that they won’t retaliate with hatred and rather they will forgive the terrorist.
This action was according to the teachings of Islam and matches with the practice of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who was sent as the blessing for the humanity, this brought both the countries closer. There is a great chance for both the countries to join hands and work together to eliminate terrorism and hatred. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is the most popular figure in Pakistan nowadays. Pakistani people love, admire and acclaim her. They have invited her to visit Pakistan and see herself the hospitality and warmth here for her. As Amil Wyss, the Ex- Consul General of Switzerland said that Pakistanis are the leaders of hospitality in the world and would give historic welcome to PM New Zealand if she comes to Pakistan.
Both Pakistan and New Zealand are members of commonwealth. Ashraf Chaudhry was the first Pakistan born Member of Parliament to serve in the New Zealand Parliament. Trade between Pakistan and New Zealand is moderate but growing quite rapidly. Agriculture, food products and education have been identified areas of future growth. New Zealand investors can benefit of Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC). Trade and economic volume is still far below than its potential. There is a need to accelerate efforts to tapping all untapped areas of export promotion. There is a great opportunity to export Pakistani food products, mangoes, textiles, apparel, carpets and software products to New Zealand. New Zealand already cooperated with Pakistan in development of its dairy industry and Pakistan can benefit a lot from New Zealand experience in agriculture, food processing and dairy animal’s health post harvesting techniques by further improving connectivity between private sectors of the two countries.
New Zealand is an attractive and beautiful island country in the Southern Pacific Ocean. It is situated some 2,000 km east of Australia across Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 km South of Pacific Island area of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tona. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. Its capital city is Wellington; its most populous city is Auckland. As a developed country New Zealand ranks high in international comparisons of national performance such as quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties and economic freedom.
Economy: New Zealand has an advanced market ranked 16th in the 2018 Human Development Index, 3rd in the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom. It is a high income economy with a nominal GDP per capita of US$ 36,254, currency is New Zealand dollar, informally known as “ Kiwi dollar”. Extractive industry have contributed strongly to New Zealand’s economy, focusing at different times on sealing, whaling, flax, gold etc. High demand for agricultural products from the UK and USA helps New Zealand achieve higher living standards. There is a need to do further serious efforts to boost the bilateral trade Pakistan and New Zealand ioint Chambers of Commerce, Signing of Preferential Trade Agreement would be right move in this direction. New Zealand might join hands with Pakistan to invest in Special Economic Zones of Pakistan to get the advantage of CPEC.
— The writer is Research Scholar and Columnist.

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