NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing a high-level roundtable on South-South Cooperation at the United Nations (UN) on Saturday announced that Pakistan is extending training and technical support to developing countries in a number of diverse fields.
Nawaz informed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping that Pakistan’s Foreign Service Academy in Islamabad had been offering training facilities to African, Central Asian and other countries.
“Our Specialized Technical Assistance Programme for Africa dates back to 1986. It is an institutionalised and fully-funded programme,” he said.
“Pakistan’s Programme for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Afghanistan was started in 2002 with a financial commitment of $385 million. It was scaled up to $500m in 2013,” Nawaz told the audience.
Nawaz said Pakistan was actively engaged with regional organisations, including Saarc, Eco, ACD, and the D-8 “based on our vision to strengthen regional and economic integration.”
He also said that as a consequence of trade liberalisation and enhanced connectivity, intra-south trade was now estimated to be over US $4 trillion.
“Investment flows to developing countries are on the rise. They account for over 50 per cent of the global Foreign Direct Investment. Almost a third originated from the South. This dynamism has vastly increased the scope for cooperation among our countries,” he said.
Addressing Xi Jinping, PM Nawaz said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor “will bring huge economic and development benefits not just to our two countries, but the entire region and beyond.”
He called it “an inspiring model of South-South cooperation, adding, “We greatly admire the vision underlying this initiative. This development strategy and framework offers new opportunities for Asia’s transformation and prosperity.”
“Enhanced South-South cooperation in trade, investment, human resource development, technology and financial resource generation is in our interest. This will ensure a prosperous future for our people,” Nawaz told Xi Jinping.
He highlighted the role of the private sector in bolstering the economy, saying, “Business and private sectors also have an important role in promoting economic opportunities, innovation and high impact solutions.”
“We support integration of South-South and triangular cooperation in the policies and strategic framework of UN Funds and Programmes,” he said, adding that further strengthening of institutional support from the UN System would help maximise the impact of South-South cooperation.
“Such an approach will help sustain our development efforts and ensure enhanced participation of developing countries in the global economy, in conformity with the new Agenda.”
PM encourages German investment in Thar coal project
While meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Nawaz urged German backers to invest in the development of Thar coal, particularly through the use of German technology and technical expertise.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues including trade, energy, health, education, agriculture and automobile industry, reported Radio Pakistan.
Merkel appreciated the progress made by Pakistan in its efforts to counter terrorism and acknowledged its contribution towards regional peace and stability, primarily with regards to Afghanistan.
‘Pak-Sweden ties need to be translated into more meaningful cooperation’
Nawaz, in a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefen Lofven at the UN Headquarters, said Pakistan is keen to expand economic cooperation with Sweden.
He sought the country’s cooperation in meeting Pakistan’s chronic energy shortage.
Nawaz informed his Swedish counterpart of gains made by Pakistan in combating terrorism.
The Swedish PM said the two countries shared a good relationship which needed to be translated into more meaningful cooperation, stressing a further strengthening of economic ties.
Nawaz, Sirisena discuss regional situation
Nawaz, while meeting with Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena expressed hope that relations between the two countries would be further strengthened under the new government.
The two leaders discussed matters of bilateral importance, including economic and defence cooperation, trade enhancement and other issues. Cooperation between both countries at multilateral fora such as the UN and Saarc also came under discussion.
Nawaz also shared his views on the regional situation, particularly with respect to India and Afghanistan, with the Sri Lankan president.