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Pakistan, UK set out trade roadmap

11 May, 2012

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LONDON: Pakistan and the United Kingdom on Thursday agreed upon "a jointly-owned" Pak-UK Trade and Investment Roadmap to actively pursue joint activities on trade and investment promotion and improving government-to-government and business-to-business interaction.

The roadmap set out the steps both governments will take to promote investment, support business and achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to £2.5 billion by 2015.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and his British counterpart David Cameron met at the 10 Downing Street to hold the strategic dialogue and discuss trade, economic growth and development, cultural cooperation, security and education.

Cameron vowed to build a deeper and stronger relationship with Pakistan, saying its future matters greatly to Britain.

"Both countries are committed to working together as equals to create the conditions for greater prosperity and security in Pakistan and the UK," a joint statement issued at the end of the talks said.

The two leaders also took into account the global economic crisis and agreed that it requires both the countries to make tough decisions to deliver future growth and prosperity. It was also agreed to have a regular dialogue between the governments on economic reform.

Gilani and Cameron also discussed the shared national security challenges and the cooperation in counter-terrorism.

Cameron acknowledged the huge sacrifices rendered by the people of Pakistan, and said the UK stood along Pakistan as a partner against the menace of militancy, terrorism and extremism.

Gilani said Pakistan and the UK are bound together by longstanding ties based on shared history, values and rich people-to-people links.

Both prime ministers urged UK companies to look at the opportunities the Pakistani market presents and build on the success of more than 100 UK-based companies already doing business in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Gilani pledged his government's full support in ensuring an enabling business environment to attract UK trade and investment in Pakistan.

Gilani also expressed appreciation for the UK's consistent support to Pakistan for enhanced market access to the European Union. He hoped that Britain would continue to support Pakistan's request for GSP Plus and early finalisation of Autonomous Trade Preferences package.

Prime Minister Cameron assured UK's continued support in this regard, and also encouraged Pakistani businesses to look at the opportunities the UK offers and its role as a gateway to Europe.

The two premiers agreed to continue a regular dialogue between their governments on economic reform, recognising that economic stability and setting the conditions for enduring growth were key priorities to ensure prosperity for future generations.

Both prime ministers agreed to a continued close partnership to help lift millions of people out of poverty and build a stable, prosperous and democratic future for Pakistan.

Gilani reiterated his personal commitment to improving the quality of education in Pakistan and welcomed UK support in this regard.

Cameron reaffirmed that the UK was open for genuine migrants who are coming to the UK to do a legitimate job or study at a genuine institution.

Both prime ministers committed to preventing illegal migration as it harms people both in Pakistan and the UK.

Pakistan and the UK also evinced an unwavering commitment to work together to combat the menace of terrorism and extremism.

Separately, Gilani met the Duke of York and vowed to build a strong trade and economic relationship with the United Kingdom.

Prince Andrew said he would bring together a group of UK businessmen and advocate them to invest in Pakistan.

End.

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