Official visit to Pakistan

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Belarus and Pakistan reaffirmed mutual interest in the development of friendly relations and specified the areas of interaction taking into account modern realities. This was the result of the official negotiations of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on 5 October.

“I would like to say that our approaches to the development of bilateral relations have no changed since the previous meetings. I have grown even more confident in the sincere intent of our Pakistani partners to develop friendly relations with Minsk relying on the principles of mutual trust and cooperation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said after the talks with the Prime Minister.

Belarus and Pakistan are eager to advance cooperation with third countries. The participation of Belarus in the construction of the Chinese-Pakistani economic corridor is an example of it. “Belarus and Pakistan should step up efforts to enhance cooperation in science and technology. The Belarus-Pakistan center for the coordination of the scientific, technological, and innovative cooperation was opened during this visit,” the head of state said. “We will bolster agricultural and industrial cooperation. In the near future we will exchange the visits of specialists to expand cooperation in these areas.”

After the talks the sides signed a package of documents on the development of cooperation in various industries, including a memorandum of cooperation between the National Center of Marketing and Pricing of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, air transportation and education agreements between the two governments.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Nawaz Sharif passed a joint statement to highlight the prospects of bilateral relations and reaffirm the need to promote and deepen them in the best interests of Belarus and Pakistan.

In Islamabad the Belarusian head of state met with Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Sadiq. The two meetings praised the high level of Belarus-Pakistan cooperation and the resolution of the two countries to do their best to strengthen partnership in trade, economy, science, culture, education, and other fields.

The President of Belarus also took part in the opening of the 4th Pakistan-Belarus Investment & Business Forum. In his speech he encouraged Pakistani businessmen to more broadly use Belarus’ industrial capabilities for the sake of implementing various kinds of infrastructure projects. “Large Belarusian companies, which have earned a good reputation on the international market, are ready to work with you. Those are Minsk Tractor Works, BelAZ, Minsk Automobile Plant, Amkodor, Bobruiskagromash, Gomselmash, and Lidselmash,” the Belarusian leader said. “Concrete steps should be taken to set up joint ventures for the processing of meat and milk, make baby food and tinned food. We should definitely decide on 3-4 projects, which are important for Belarus and Pakistan, and start implementing them right away. Great accomplishments begin with small steps. These examples will demonstrate to businessmen in Belarus and Pakistan how things should be done. Those, who will take care of the projects, will be pioneers, pathfinders. Through them, Pakistan and Belarus will take a closer look at the capabilities of each other.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, in the near future serious headway can be made into stepping up cooperation between banks, in light industry (especially textile industry), forestry industry, customs affairs, in matters concerning standardization and certification. The possibility of arranging direct air service between Belarus and Pakistan is under consideration. “The project fully depends on you. If you start travelling between Pakistan and Belarus, more than one flight will become available,” the President noted.

The head of state invited the businessmen to more actively use the potential of interstate mechanisms, primarily the Belarusian-Pakistani intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation and working groups on industrial and agricultural cooperation. “If necessary, we will set up working groups to take care of other avenues of our cooperation. We have also agreed to meet regularly. As you can see, visits to Belarus and Pakistan are arranged virtually every year to monitor the execution of our decisions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

According to the President, it is extremely important for Belarus-Pakistan relations to be full of trust and real economic content. “I would like to note once again that the Belarusian side is open for intensive and scrupulous work with the Pakistani private sector in all the mutually beneficial avenues of cooperation. The Prime Minister and I have agreed to raise Belarus-Pakistan trade up to $1 billion within four years. You are free to make any arrangements you like, but the trade volume must be at least $1 billion in four years,” the head of state concluded.

On 6 October the official visit of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko to Pakistan was over. The aircraft with the Belarusian head of state on board departed from the Nur Khan airbase. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saw the Belarusian leader off to the airport.

Before that Aleksandr Lukashenko and Nawaz Sharif had an informal meeting in the country residence of the Pakistani head of government. The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere, the sides exchanged presents.