Bahrain King in historic visit to Pakistan
Manama, March 18, 2014
State security, immigration and trade opportunities will be discussed during an historic visit by His Majesty King Hamad to Pakistan today (March 18).
A number of key business agreements are also expected to be signed during the three-day visit, as well as the discussion of political interests of both countries and peace and instability in the region, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The King will meet Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as well as other key officials.
Issues such as security, economy, immigration, import, export and education will be brought to the table during the visit, which will include the first Bahrain-Pakistan business forum that will be attended by hundreds of leading businessmen and government officials from both countries.
A similar forum will take place in Bahrain at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa on Sunday.
Pakistan Ambassador Jauhar Saleem said he hoped the visit would mark the start of regular political consultations between both nations.
"This is the first-ever state visit by His Majesty to Pakistan and this reflects the very strong fraternal ties that the two countries enjoy and the great tradition of friendship that we have," he told the GDN yesterday.
"I believe this visit will greatly contribute to further strengthening our political ties and economic co-operation, including trade and investment.
"The two countries have a lot to share with each other; we share similar views on most international issues and the same aspirations and goals for enhancing peace and stability in our region.
"This common desire can result in common strategies, but to do that we do need to have regular consultations."
Saleem will accompany the Bahraini delegation, which includes Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry members and government officials.
He said some of the issues that will be discussed included the avoidance of double taxation, easing visa procedures and nationality.
"His Majesty's visit would be an historic opportunity," Saleem told the BNA.
"Many Pakistani investors have invested heavily in Bahrain. Some of them are leading businessmen here.
"Many Bahrain banks have invested in Pakistan as well.
"In the commercial arena, we have a trade of $400 million on both sides. It is not too small but it is not enough - it could be raised to $1 billion or $2 billion," he told the BNA.
"Both countries need to do more to achieve higher figures.
"We really need to work and we have been working in the recent months and years to boost the figures. We have negotiated a number of agreements, some of which will be signed during this visit. We have also been trying to send more business delegations to each other's country."
Manama and Islamabad are due to sign a number of major memorandums of understanding during the visit involving a wide range of sectors including retail, cement, fertiliser, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, engineering and electronics. The possibility of sharing science and technology expertise will also be discussed. - TradeArabia News Service