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The 16th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting was held in Doha, Qatar on 30 April to 2 May 2019. The events included a Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), the Ministerial segment, and a Business Forum.

Participating in the 16th ACD Ministerial, Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to making Asia a connected, prosperous and peaceful region.

The Head of Pakistani Delegation, Special Secretary (Asia Pacific) Imtiaz Ahmad, in his remarks stated that ACD is a leading platform to realize the dream of pan-Asian cooperation and Pakistan fully subscribes to its aims and objectives.

Pakistan announced the establishment of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Connectivity with Co-Prime Movers i.e. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Bangladesh and India. Pakistan also announced that the inaugural meeting of the Executive Committee of the Joint Working Group on Connectivity would be convened soon.

Pakistan is the Prime Mover for the Pillar of Connectivity and the Co-Prime Mover for the Pillar of Cultural and Tourism in the ACD. Tourism is a high priority area for the Government of Pakistan and the country is opening up for tourists from across the world. In this regard, Pakistan’s recently-announced Visa Policy with its reduction in visa fee, introduction of e-visa and visa-on-arrival facilities, will help enhanced connectivity and people-to-people exchanges.

Special Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad highlighted that Pakistan had hosted the 4th Ministerial Meeting in Islamabad in 2005, which adopted the Islamabad Declaration on Finance, Energy Security, Flow of Capital and Investment. Pakistan emphasized its vital role in overland connectivity to the Middle East, China, Central Asian and South Asia. Gwadar is also the confluence of BRI’s land and maritime routes.

ACD is a continent-wide forum, which provides a platform to Asian countries to regularly exchange views on areas of mutual interest and foster an Asian community. Pakistan is one of the founding members of ACD and assigns high priority to this forum.

May 3, 2019

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