PM, EU Commission President discuss coop in diverse areas

PARIS (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday met President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen here on the sidelines of the New Global Financing Pact Summit.
The prime minister thanked the President of the Commission for her participation in the Resilient Pakistan Conference held in Geneva on January 9 this year. He conveyed Pakistan’s commitment to continue working in close collaboration with the European institutions for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the flood-affected areas.
The prime minister appreciated high-level interactions between Pakistan and the European Union and renewed an invitation to the EU Commission president to visit Pakistan. Recalling the importance of GSP Plus, the prime minister noted with satisfaction that it was on track as there was a strong political commitment in that regard.
The EU Commission president lauded Pakistan’s efforts to recover from the 2022 floods and assured continued support. She appreciated the level of ongoing cooperation between the EU and Pakistan, including GSP Plus. After the meeting, Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the trade preference measures had already helped Pakistan increase exports to the EU by 65% over the past eight years.
She also vowed to continue supporting reconstruction after the floods in Pakistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in response to her tweet, acknowledged the vital support extended by the EU in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-hit areas as well as its active participation in Resilient Pakistan Conference in Geneva.
“GSP Plus has provided a strong boost to our exports and continues to remain critical to our economy. My government is keen to further build on our strong partnership with EU. It is my pleasure to invite you for a visit to take our relationship forward in line with the vast potential at trade, economic and political levels,” he added.
PM , Premier Li agree to celebrate Decade of CPEC this year to showcase success: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif met Chinese Premier Li Qiang here wherein the two sides agreed to celebrate the Decade of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) this year to showcase its success. The meeting was held here on the sidelines of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact.
It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since Premier Li assumed office in March this year. Expressing satisfaction at the steady development of CPEC projects in Pakistan, the two sides agreed on CPEC’s centrality for Pakistan’s socio-economic development and expressed their firm commitment to continue working together for realizing its shared objectives for the two countries. The conversation was marked by traditional warmth and cordiality that has been the hallmark of Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
During the meeting, the two leaders held an in-depth discussion on the entire gamut of bilateral relationship, including CPEC as well as economic cooperation. Reiterating support to China on its core issues, the prime minister appreciated China’s unflinching support to Pakistan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and socio-economic development. He noted that China’s firm opposition to holding any G20 meeting in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir was a vivid reflection of China’s principled stance for upholding international law and the United Nations resolutions.
In his remarks, Premier Li said the Pakistan-China friendship was unique and had withstood the vicissitude of time due to deep fraternal ties between the peoples of the two nations. He added that as a close neighbour and iron-brother, Pakistan occupied a special position in China’s neighbourhood diplomacy and that China would continue its efforts for safeguarding Pakistan’s core interests and for the economic development and prosperity of its people.
Prime Minister Shehbaz and Premier Li Qiang agreed to continue the momentum of high level exchanges between Pakistan and China. The prime minister invited the Chinese premier to undertake a visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience which the latter accepted.
Pakistan keen to benefit from Brazilian experience in agriculture sector: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed Pakistan’s keenness in benefiting from the Brazilian experience of using modern technology in the agriculture sector.
PM Shehbaz met Brazilian President LuizInácio Lula da Silva here on the sidelines of Summit for New Global Financing Pact. The prime minister appreciated Brazil’s cooperation in defence and other sectors.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the level of bilateral cooperation at multilateral forums. They also agreed to promote and expand the bilateral cooperation, besides working in close coordination to explore new potentials of cooperation in all sectors of mutual interests. The Brazilian president conveyed his best wishes to the prime minister and the people of Pakistan.
IsDB’s partnership to help Pakistan’s flood-hit people rebuild lives: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the Islamic Development Bank’s beneficial partnership with Pakistan would go a long way in helping the flood-hit people of the country to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
The prime minister, in a meeting with IsDB President Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser on the sidelines of New Global Financial Pact Summit being held in Paris, said the Institution’s support would support the sustainable development objectives of the government. The long-standing cooperation and engagement between Pakistan and IsDB was discussed during the meeting.
The prime minister and IsDB president took stock of the progress on various ongoing projects and exchanged views on new avenues of collaboration. The prime minister thanked Dr. Al Jasser on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan for IsDB’s participation in the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan held in Geneva on January 9, 2023.
He lauded IsDB’s announcement at that Conference to provide USD 4.2 billion in support of Pakistan’s post floods recovery. The prime minister acknowledged the personal contribution and leadership role of Dr. Al Jasser in galvanising this huge volume of financial support.
The prime minister briefed Dr. Al Jasser on the recently formed Special Investment Facilitation Council to streamline foreign investments in the country and provide a one-window solution to address all concerns of foreign investors. He also renewed the invitation to the President of IsDB to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.
Pakistan, Germany agree to enhance cooperation in trade, investment: Pakistan and Germany agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in multiple fields, including trade, investment and energy.
The bilateral ties were discussed in a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, here on the sidelines of New Global Financing Pact Summit. The prime minister thanked Germany for its support to the flood-hit people of Pakistan, besides providing an economic support of 163 million euros to the country.
The prime minister said the additional 27 million euros for the Benazir Income Support Programme were spent for the assistance to the flood victims and provision of food to them. Lauding the development model of Germany, he said the progress achieved by the country was an inspiration for the developing countries. “I am personally impressed by the development of Germany as a country and the hard work and resilience of the German nation,” he added.
Prime Minister Shehbaz expressed the hope that Germany would raise the voice of developing world on the issues like climate change and financial stress. He said releasing the economic burden from the developing states would help uplifting their people.
The prime minister appreciated the services of German firms and non-governmental organizations operating in Pakistan. Expressing his pleasure to meet the prime minister, the German chancellor conveyed good wishes for the government and the people of Pakistan.
PM urges international community to deliver commitments made at COP27: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday urged the international community to deliver the commitments made at COP 27 in Sharm al-Sheikh and also operationalize Loss and Damage Fund on the principle of equity.
“The international community should deliver on the commitments they made at COP 27 in Sharm al-Sheikh, including the operationalization of Loss and Damage Fund on the principle of equity; provision of grants that don’t increase the indebtedness of developing countries; enabling climate-vulnerable countries to access the Fund on the basis of a climate vulnerability index,” he said in a tweet. He said that as part of his interactions during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, he drew world leaders’ attention to the exogenous shocks that created the poly-crisis for developing countries like Pakistan.
These shocks, he said resulted in stalling growth, supply chain disruptions caused commodity prices to soar, leading to back-breaking inflation and then extreme weather events precipitated unprecedented floods that cost Pakistan $30 billion in losses. “The inability to bridge the financing gaps to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) coupled with the cost of realizing climate goals is inflicting a heavy cost on the world, running into trillions of dollars annually,” he added.
The prime minister said the world should use present economic and climate turbulence as an opportunity for course correction. The starting point could be rethinking the global financial architecture where IFIs design their programs to be pro-growth and aligned with SDGs and climate justice goals. “The world faces a moment of truth. Let us all vow to rise to the challenge hand in hand in a spirit of solidarity and compassion,” he added.

Shehbaz urges expatriates to expose anti-Pakistan propaganda

PARIS (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday urged the overseas Pakistanis to play their role to expose the anti-Pakistan propaganda in their respective countries, besides condemning the arson that took place on May 9.
The prime minister, in an interaction with the representatives of the Pakistani community in France as well as the Pakistan Business Forum, told the expatriates that the arsonists of May 9 were spreading lies to instigate the people abroad. The prime minister is visiting Paris to attend the New Global Financing Pact Summit hosted by France. He said the overseas Pakistanis were Pakistan’s ambassadors and an asset, and that their services for the country’s development were laudable. Prime Minister Shehbaz told the community members that through its tough economic decisions, the incumbent government saved the country from default.
During the last four years, the economy was pushed to the verge of collapse, and unemployment and inflation were at their peaks, he added. The prime minister said that having inherited an isolated Pakistan on the diplomatic fronts, his government made constant efforts throughout the year to revive foreign relations. He said the recently unveiled Economic Revival Plan would prove to be a milestone to restore Pakistan’s economic position and that a Special Investment Facilitation Council had been established to remove impediments to investment. Prime Minister Shehbaz said that only economic sovereignty and stability could guarantee a safe future for Pakistan. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and Special Assistant to the PM Tariq Fatemi also attended the meeting. The representatives of the overseas Pakistanis in France also presented a bouquet to the prime minister.