Zardari for 'new dynamism' in bilateral ties with Myanmar

Zardari for 'new dynamism' in bilateral ties with Myanmar

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today expressed keen interest in tapping resource-rich Myanmar's energy sector and signing a comprehensive free trade agreement with it to impart "new dynamism" in bilateral ties.

Zardari, who reached Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on a two-day official visit today, met his counterpart Thein Sein and offered to send his Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources to Myanmar for exploring prospects of meaningful cooperation.

Besides, the president called for enhancing two-way trade between the two nations and establishing a Preferential Tariff Arrangement leading to the culmination of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

He also emphasised establishment of a Joint Ministerial Commission mandated to promote economic and trade cooperation between the two countries as well as cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

The President called for consultations between the respective Central Banks to study prospects of establishing a Currency Swap Arrangement for closer economic and trade cooperation, Pakistan's state-run APP news agency quoted presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar as saying.

Pakistan and Myanmar have modest trade relations. Two way trade between the two countries stood at USD 24 million in 2009-2010.

The spokesperson said Zardari also offered to share Pakistan's experience with Myanmar in poverty alleviation and women empowerment.

Babar said the President emphasised regular high level contacts "to impart new dynamism to our bilateral relations" and extended an invitation to President to visit Pakistan.

Zardari will travel to Yangon tomorrow to confer 'Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Award' on Suu Kyi. He is also expected to visit the mausoleum of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.