Pakistan asks Bahrain to invest in mega projects

* Nawaz says Bahrain should increase imports from Pakistan of Basmati rice, meat products, textiles, carpets, marble, cutlery

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday invited Bahraini investors to invest in mega projects in Pakistan which, he said, provided a better investment environment.
The prime minister said the Bahraini investors should avail this opportunity for the best returns. “We would welcome Bahraini investments in mega projects in the field of energy, downstream oil industry, port development, mining and minerals, infrastructure, banking and financial sectors,” the prime minister said while welcoming King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at the PM House. He stressed the need for regular Joint Commission meetings, saying this provided a good platform to review bilateral economic and trade cooperation. 
“We would deeply appreciate Bahraini support for early finalisation of the Gulf Cooperation Council-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement,” he commented. Prime Minister Nawaz also stressed the need to enhance bilateral trade, saying, “We would like Bahrain to increase its imports from Pakistan of high quality Basmati rice, halal meat products, poultry, textiles and clothing, sports goods, surgical instruments, carpets, marble and cutlery. Cooperation in agriculture and food sectors would be mutually beneficial also,” Nawaz said.
He said the institutional framework of bilateral political consultations between the two foreign ministries provided a useful mechanism to review bilateral relations. He said Pakistan and Bahrain enjoyed close and cordial relations based on mutual trust and understanding. The prime minister said the Pakistani community residing in Bahrain served as a bridge between the two countries and had played a positive role in the development of Bahrain as well as contributed to Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan had skilled manpower, which could play their role in different economic sectors of Bahrain, he added.
Pakistan and Bahrain signed six bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to bolster cooperation in diverse areas, including trade, energy, investment, agriculture and aviation. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Muhammad Khalifa signed the MoU for the establishment of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) for bilateral cooperation and the agreement for the promotion and protection of investment.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and his Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa signed the MoU on cooperation between interior ministries. The MoU on cooperation in food security, particularly in rice, between the two countries was signed by Minister for Food Security Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and Commerce Minister of Bahrain Dr Hassan Fakhro. The MoU on the cooperation in the field of water and power was inked by Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and Bahrain’s Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Dr Abdul-Hassain bin Ali Mirza.
The air services agreement was signed by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Bahrain’s Minister for Transport Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed. Delegations of both the countries also met under the leadership of king of Bahrain and Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan’s delegation included Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi. Bahrain’s delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad bin Mubarak bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and Chairman of the House of Representatives Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani. 

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