ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Yemen Joint Ministerial Commission in its 7th session on Tuesday reviewed steps to expand bilateral cooperation in sectors of economy, trade, investment, oil and gas.
The session co-chaired by Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi and Yemeni Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Saadaldeen Ali Salim Talib examined the implementation status of the decisions taken in the 6th session.
After the plenary session, the commission delegates discussed in detail prospects of enhancing cooperation in areas of trade, investment, industries, oil and gas, vocational and technical training, health, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure development and postal services.
Both sides reviewed steps for increasing commercial relations following Yemen’s accession to World Trade Organisation (WTO) as its 160th member.
On the pending issue of formation of Joint Business Council (JBC), the Yemeni side agreed to nominate ten businessmen. Pakistan has already given names of its nominees belonging to industry and trade.
It was agreed the two countries would form a committee to discuss possibility of entering into Preferential Trade Agreement or Free Trade Agreement to expand the volume of trade currently hovering at around $150 million.
Honorary Consul General of Yemen in Pakistan Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig raised the issue of cutting time for issuance of visa to Yemeni businessmen, citing Pakistani businessmen were getting visa in five days for visiting Yemen.
Pakistani side expressed interest in making further investments by its companies in the oil and Liquified National Gas (LNG) sector.
Representatives of Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), National Engineering Services (NESPAK) and DESCON briefed the Yemeni delegation about their expertise in infrastructure projects.
These organisations are already working on infrastructure projects in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries. Yemeni side assured the companies they would be facilitated in their projects in Yemen.
The two sides also agreed to set up joint venture projects, especially in the Aden Free Economic Zone of Yemen and economic zones of Pakistan.
Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi said the government was very keen to strengthen relationship with the brotherly country of Yemen.
The Minister briefed the delegates on the macro-economic profile of Pakistan and said despite challenges such as the severe energy crisis and phenomenal surge in commodity prices over the last few years, the country’s economy has witnessed a higher growth trajectory.
Dr Saadaldeen Ali Salim Talib expressed hope economic relations between the two countries would grow through trade and joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries.
Both sides agreed to expedite the conclusion of the Executive Programme for Bilateral Cooperation in the fields of oil, gas and minerals.
It was told that the Yemeni Minister for Oil and Gas would undertake a visit to Pakistan to hold talks on the issue of import of LNG from Yemen.
On the request of Yemeni government, Pakistani officials agreed to look into the issue of increasing the number of scholarships for Yemeni technical diploma holders and graduates.
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