Pak, S Arabia on path to booster trade, energy coop

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KSA agrees to set up training institute in Pakistan

Reactivation of JBC, Investment Treaty on cards

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at the 11th session of Joint Ministeral Commission concluded Wednesday agreed to take a series of steps to promote their economic and trade relations.
The two day session was co-chaired by Mohammad Pervaiz Malik, Minister for Commerce and Textile and also Co-chair of Pakistan and Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister for Trade & Investment, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and also Co-chair of the Commission from Saudi side.
Both sides agreed to nominate focal persons for cooperation in the field of trade, commerce, energy, consular affairs, education, health and other matters of mutual interest.
During the meeting of the commission, both sides agreed to hold exhibitions of new products in each other’s countries. First single country exhibition of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia will be held in the second half of 2018. They agreed to review and simplify the procedure of business visa issuance. The business visa fee will also be rationalized.
The Commission called for reactivating Pak-Saudi Joint Business Council (JBC) by first quarter of 2018 followed by the first meeting of the Council. A Commercial Attache will soon be designated in Saudi Embassy, Islamabad.
At the meeting, Pakistani side stressed the importance of cooperation between Saudi oil and gas companies to develop oil production in Pakistan including setting up of refineries. Both sides agreed to expedite negotiations to finalize the MoU between Central Banks of two countries.
Both side will exchange and share security information and the expertise in the field of combating terrorism, organized crimes and money laundering. A draft Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners is likely to be signed at an early date. The Commission encouraged exchange visits of the officials from the media field, share television cultural programs and documentaries, facilitate the missions of the official radio and television delegations between the two countries.
The Saudi side informed that there is a Saudi Royal Decree to establish labor Attache in Pakistan and one of the mandate of this Attachee is to approve the labor training centers to train manpower in accordance with the Saudi requirements.
It was agreed to encourage cooperation in the fields of scientific researches, exchange of scholarships and experiences in health teaching and medical staff and exchange of student visits. The Pakistani side requested increasing scholarships for Pakistani students studying in Saudi universities. There will be cooperation in science and technology and exchange of research expertise.
Pakistan offered Saudi Civil Aviation training courses at Civil Aviation Training Institute, Hyderabad in the field of air traffic control, communication, navigation and surveillance engineering and aviation management.
Saudi Ministry of Health wished to continue the cooperation in the field of recruiting qualified and trained Pakistani medical personnel to work in the Kingdom focusing on consultants, specialist and nurses in critical healthcare. For focused and regular sectoral liaison, both sides agreed to nominate the Focal Persons from both sides for cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, investment, education, agriculture, etc.