Zim/Pakistan seek improved cooperation

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Harare (New Ziana) – Pakistan sees scope for improved economic cooperation between Harare and Islamabad as the two countries share common historical and development goals, a senior Pakistani official has said.
This was said by Pakistan’s charge de affairs Fariz Hasan on Monday at a Pakistan/Africa day forum held at a local hotel.
“Pakistan and Zimbabwe have an excellent historical relationship. We have been working together in various fields including military, commerce, training of government officials, however with the advent of COVID-19 we see that trade between the two countries has slumped down a bit, but the good part of this is that both countries are aware of this downward trend and both countries are willing to take action to arrest this trend,” he said.
“As of now, we believe that the commercial relations between both countries are sub-optimal and they are restricted to a few products.”
He said Pakistan was exporting rice, tractors and tractor implements into Zimbabwe while Zimbabwe was exporting vegetable oils and other “miscellaneous items of sentimental value.”
“So we need to diversify this,” he said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade chief director for political affairs –for the Africa, Asia and the Pacific region ambassador Alice Mageza said the various staff training courses offered by Pakistan had empowered staff at various levels enabling them to contribute more towards nation building and economic development.
“However, it is sad that the last Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation was held in 1995, let us work together, a joint commission gives us a window of looking at our relationship, let us identify where we are lacking and where we are strong,” she said.
As part of its efforts to strengthen collaboration with Africa, Islamabad announced the ‘Engage Africa’ Initiative through which Pakistan aims to deepen, revive and reinforce its relations with African countries.
The initiative, wants to build upon existing relations with African partners and open avenues of mutually beneficial collaborations.
In pursuit of its new policy on Africa, the Pak-Africa Trade Development Conference 2020 was held in Nairobi, Kenya and in 2021 an African Envoys meeting was arranged with Pakistan Foreign Minister in Islamabad.
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