FM Qureshi meets Romanian PM; discusses bilateral matters & Afghanistan
Pakistan, Romania sign MoUs for cooperation in commerce, education
BUCHAREST: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday met Prime Minister of Romania Nicolae Ciucă wherein they discussed the bilateral matters, the situation in Afghanistan, and the human rights abuses in the IIOJK. On his arrival at the PM Office, Foreign Minister Qureshi was received by the Romanian Chief of Protocol. Pakistan and Romania also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to enhance bilateral cooperation between the trade bodies as well as for the provision of educational scholarships to Pakistani students. The MoU was signed between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Foreign Minister Qureshi and Romanian Minister for Economy Florin Spătaru witnessed the signing ceremony. The MoUs were signed during the visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Romania. The document was signed by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Romania Dr Zafar Iqbal. Both sides termed the MoU vital for the promotion of bilateral trade and commerce. In another ceremony held at the Romanian foreign ministry, the MoU was signed for the provision of educational scholarships to Pakistani students by Bucharest Polytechnical University. Ambassador Dr Zafar Iqbal signed the MoU from the Pakistani side while University Rector Mihnea Cosmin Costoiu represented Romania. Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu witnessed the signing ceremony. Later while speaking to the Pakistani community in Romania, the foreign minister said overseas Pakistanis had been given voting rights. Now they would have the opportunity to influence policymaking in Pakistan, he added.
He said he would talk to the Romanian Foreign Minister about giving more facilities to Pakistanis living in Romania.
He said one section of Pakistanis was sending its hard-earned money to Pakistan while another one was looting and taking money away from the country.
He said Pakistan would focus on increasing exports to the markets in Europe.
He said overseas Pakistanis had opened 300,000 digital accounts and sent $ three billion through them in a short time.
The Pakistani diaspora was given facilities so that it could buy houses and cars in Pakistan, he told.
Qureshi said expatriates sent $ 30 billion to Pakistan, adding Pakistani investors could now repatriate their profits earned in Pakistan and were also given exemptions in taxes and duties.
He said there were immense opportunities to expand ties between Pakistan and Romania. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday urged the Romanian investors and businessmen to avail of the huge trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan.
Addressing a joint press conference along with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu, the foreign minister said a huge potential existed for the Romanian investors in not only promoting the bilateral trade ties, but also from the prospects of Pakistan being a hub of exports to Central Asia as the new markets were now being opened up for the world.
He said Pakistan was building an economic corridor with China, and the construction of Gwadar port would open the world to the landlocked Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan.
Qureshi said that during his meetings with the Romanian leadership, they discussing measures to promote the economic relations.
He said great opportunities existed between the two countries to further develop understanding as it was the right time to move ahead.
He said according to the Romanian counterpart, the bilateral trade between the two countries, during the last fiscal year, increased by around 50.6 per cent despite Covid challenge.
However, it was not near the real potential existed between the two countries in the context of the bilateral ties and the trade opportunities with the European Union, he observed.
The foreign minister said Pakistan was at the advantageous position. With GSP+ status, they felt that it had been mutually beneficial for both the EU and Pakistan.
“Pakistan has been an important trader of the EU and Pakistan has very important relationship with the EU and its members,” he added.
Referring to signing of agreement between the chambers of the two countries, Qureshi said that it would open new avenues for the corporate sector and private sector of the two countries. The private sector had been and would be a driving force in growing the bilateral trade ties between Pakistan and Romania.
The foreign minister said Pakistan and Romania enjoyed excellent diplomatic ties spanning over 58 years and both the countries had been supporting each other at multilateral levels.
“I want to acknowledge that besides, excellent bilateral relations and goodwill to each other, our exchanges are frequent. I am here with a very determined view to initiate a new era in our bilateral ties,” he said expressing the optimism that his visit would set a new tone for the new era of bilateral relations.
The foreign minister further said that both sides also discussed the regional, global and Afghan situation.
He said that he also shared with the Romanian side, the delicate situation on the eastern side of Pakistan, in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, adding Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) had also spoken about it.
The foreign minister also expressed his confidence that the educational agreement would benefit Pakistani students.
He also thanked the Romanian government and its people on behalf of the prime minister and people of Pakistan for generously donating 5,000 doses of coronavirus to Pakistan.