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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2862

Pakistani PM hints at defence, energy pact with France

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

[caption id="attachment_2901" align="alignright" width="460" caption="French Minister for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac meets Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani —AFP Photo "]French Minister for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac meets Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani —AFP Photo [/caption]

Islamabad, 24 July, ( Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Thursday said Pakistan desires long term strategic partnership with France and would enter framework agreements on defence, security and energy by end of this year.

Talking to Anne Marie Idrac, French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade at the PM House, Gilani expressed satisfaction over the preliminary engagement between the two sides for the signing of two framework agreements on defence and security and on economy and energy during the forthcoming visit of President Nicholas Sarkozy later this year.

Gilani said Pakistan would also like to diversify its energy mix and would welcome France's assistance in increasing power generation capacity of the country, particularly in hydel, solar, wind and nuclear energy fields.

The Pakistani PM also sought France's help to gain enhanced market access of its products to the European markets and for starting negotiations on Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and EU. He thanked France for its assistance for the displaced persons.

The prime minister assured the French Minister of State that Pakistan would facilitate their joint ventures and new direct investment in economic sector of their choice in Pakistan especially in the fields of cleaner and safer energy infrastructure.

Meanwhile the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Anne Marie IDRAC while addressing a press conference here Thursday said France is keen to open a new chapter of relationship with Pakistan for strengthening democracy and its efforts to curb terrorism.

She said that this was the first visit by any French Trade Minister during last 20 years which shows that they want to further strengthen the economic and defence ties with Pakistan.

Anne Marie said that main objective of her visit was to finalize framework on different trade and economic subjects before the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Pakistan is facing many challenges including the menace of terrorism, she said and added France was aware of all these problems and would help Pakistan for strengthening democracy and economy.

France would cooperate in transportation, energy, water treatment, food industry and agriculture developmental for the economical progress and prosperity, she added.

She said French private companies would sign agreements after the visit by President Sarkozy to enhance bilateral trade and defence relations between the two countries.

She said some French companies were already doing their business in Pakistan in different sectors of the economy besides providing the jobs opportunities for 10,000 people.

She said that her country had provided 2.3 million Euros for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons adding that additional 10 million Euros had been given for supplying food to them.

Anne said that France would also provide 300 million Euros during next three years (2009-2011) for socio economic development which had announced in Friends of Democratic Pakistan Conference.

The trade volume between both of the countries were increased by 6 per cent as compare to last year and it would further increase during time to come minister said that France would help Pakistan get market access to the European Union and also provide modern technology including Fennac Helicopter for curbing terrorism.

- Asian Tribune -

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