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Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani will pay an official visit to France on 3-6 May 2011, at the invitation of the French leadership. The Prime Minister will meet President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Francois Fillon, and the President of the Senate Mr. Gerard Larcher. He would also receive Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Defence Minister Gerard Longuet.

Prime Minister Gilani will have an in-depth discussions with the French leadership on bilateral, regional and global issues and will convey our interest to comprehensively upgrade our political, economic and security cooperation. The Prime Minister will also address leading French businessmen at the French Business Confederation (MEDEF). MEDEF International and Pakistan Business Council have decided to establish the Pakistan-France Joint Business Council to facilitate and strengthen bilateral economic and commercial partnership. Declarations on economic and security cooperation will be signed.

Pakistan and France value their partnership, which is characterized by close coordination not only at the bilateral level but also in the context of the European Union. France is the second largest trading partner of Pakistan.

Priority areas of Pakistan-France cooperation are in the areas of environment (water and sanitation), institutional cooperation and protection of global public goods, specifically through investment financing in energy and transport sectors.

France is a valuable partner in the FODP process. As an expression of support to the democratic government of Pakistan, France has been actively participating in the activities of FODP since its creation. The French President attended the New York FODP Summit held on 24 September 2009. At the Tokyo Donors Conference of 17 April 2009, France pledged a Euros 300 million assistance package, spread over three years.

There are approximately 50,000 Pakistanis living in France, who make positive contributions to the French society.

02 May 2011

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