Pakistan and Egypt agreed to boost bilateral cooperation particularly economic ties during the Feb 16-18 visit of Pakistani foriegn minister to Egypt. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan and Egypt agreed to boost bilateral cooperation particularly economic ties during the recent meeting of the officials of the two countries.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Cairo and expressed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen and diversify bilateral ties.

The foreign minister, who is on an official visit to Egypt from February 16-18, briefed the Egyptian leader on Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics. With the emphasis on economic connectivity, Pakistan is eager to become a partner in peace and progress, he said.

President Sisi expressed hope that the visit of the Pakistani foreign minister would pave the way for enhanced bilateral ties and dynamic multilateral cooperation. The President of Egypt also accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan at the earliest opportunity.

Improve cooperation

During the visit, Foreign Minister Qureshi held a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shourky at Tahrir Palace in Cairo. The two ministers agreed to improve cooperation in the fields of infrastructure development, defense cooperation and joint production, trade, investment, culture, education, media and TV, tourism, agriculture and Information Technology.

Pakistan attaches special importance to its relations with Egypt, both as a key Arab state as well as a gateway to Africa, he said. Appreciating the development of Egypt in recent years, he outlined Pakistan’s priorities aimed at harnessing the country’s huge economic, investment and human resource potential.

The prospects of building maritime linkages between Pakistan and Egypt were also discussed to expand the commercial outreach in respective regions. Highlighting the sacrifices and successes of both countries in countering terrorism and extremism, FM Qureshi said the two countries could also benefit from sharing of experience and capabilities. They also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Urged to invest

Foreign Minister Qureshi urged Egyptian businessmen to invest in Pakistan by highlighting the business-friendly incentives offered by the government. He urged the Egyptian companies to take advantage of ample investment opportunities in the housing, energy and health sectors. He also mentioned that leading multinational companies were consistently earning higher profits in Pakistan, as compared to their global average.

The delegation comprised of key Egyptian investors, including Elsewedy Electric, which is keen on investing in Pakistan’s power distribution sector, the tech-startup Swvl representatives, the officials of Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Chairman of Foreign Trade Association and Chairman ExpoLink. The revival of Pakistan-Egypt Joint Business Council was also discussed.

During his visit, Pakistan foreign minister also met the Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, at the organization’s headquarters in Cairo. “With deep bonds of shared faith, culture and values, Pakistan enjoyed strong political, security, trade and diaspora linkages with all countries” of Arab League, he said. Pakistani minister hoped that country’s bilateral cordial relations with Arab countries should also translate into closer collaboration with the Arab League.