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As part of the discussions under the annual Ministerial review of the ESD, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs held talks with Lord Mark Price, Minister of State for Trade and Investment and Rt Hon Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International development on 19 April 2016.

In the meeting with Lord Price, the Adviser highlighted the steps taken by the Government to revive the economy and address the energy crisis. While appreciating UK’s support in the areas of trade and investment, he stressed on the need to further enhance cooperation to meet and exceed the bilateral trade target of pound 3 billion. The Adviser underscored the importance of visits of trade delegations to promote economic activity, and emphasized on streamlining the issuance of visas to business community. He also invited British investment in a number of sectors including renewable energy, manufacturing, energy infrastructure, railways, telecom and information technology.

Lord Price appreciated the economic turnaround in Pakistan. He stated that Pakistan offered opportunities for the British companies to invest in diverse areas. He also expressed UK’s interest in the projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The two sides agreed to revise and update the Trade and Investment roadmap to strengthen economic cooperation.

During the meeting, Secretary Greening appreciated the concrete steps taken by the present Government to improve socio-economic conditions in Pakistan. She stated that the DFID has the largest and most successful programme in Pakistan. The Minister reiterated UK’s commitment to extend further development assistance particularly in the areas of education and health.

Adviser Sartaj Aziz expressed satisfaction on the ongoing development cooperation between the two countries. He said that the DFID’s programme has been progressing well in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and underscored the need to expand it to Sindh and Balochistan as well. He added that Pakistan would welcome British assistance in the reconstruction of areas affected by military operation against terrorists.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs was on a four day official visit to the UK to participate in the third Ministerial Review of the Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue from 18 – 20 April 2016.

21 April 2016

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