Islamabad:Pakistan and France have agreed to further boost trade, defense and parliamentary cooperation and explore new avenues for enhanced bilateral ties for mutual benefit of the people of both the countries.

This was deliberated in a meeting of Marc Barety Ambassador of France with Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defense Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati here on Thursday at Parliament House.

Senator Azam Swati said that Pakistan places its bilateral relations with France at high esteem and wants further expand collaboration in different sectors. He said that parliamentary diplomacy can play an important role in building the socio-economic ties and parliamentary friendship groups need to be revitalized to bring the two sides more close. He lauded the cooperation between Pakistan and France at international forums and thanked the French government and the Parliament for extending support to Pakistan on defense and security issues and assistance in countering illegal immigration and achieving GSP Plus status through which Pakistani exports were able to make place in European markets.

Senator Swati said that Pakistan wants peace to flourish at regional and global level as development is directly linked with peace. He further observed that Pakistan is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestation and wants friendly ties with neighboring countries. He, however, highlighted the atrocities inflicted upon innocent Kashmiris in Indian held Kashmir and said that global community needs to take cognizance of the human rights violation being committed by the Indian occupying forces. He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project would prove to be a game changer and will accelerate the pace of socio-economic development of Pakistan and the region.

Both side agreed to enhance the trade volume from 1.2 billion Euros as there is huge scope for trade and investment.

The French Ambassador observed that Board of Investment is an important platform to assist in identifying potential investment opportunities, however, it should be one window facility for all. He also diverted attention of Chairman of the Defense Committee towards boosting cooperation in defense and security related matters. He said that French companies are willing to initiate defense cooperation, however, they have not been able to get contracts despite the fact that both the countries have enjoyed excellent cooperation in defense sector. The Ambassador briefed Senator Azam Swati about the cooperation in education, science and technology. He said that Pakistan an important country for France and there are many investment opportunities which can be explored for mutual benefit.

He also apprised the Chairman of Defense Committee about the report of the delegation which visited Pakistan a couple of months ago. He said that the delegation has compiled a report on CPEC, OBOR and BRI.

Senator Azam Swati expressed his willingness see the report. He expressed his well wishes to the government, parliament and people of France and hoped that both countries would strive and explore new vistas of cooperation in different sector


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