Zardari seeks preferential trade ties with Myanmar

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has called for enhancing two-way trade between Pakistan and Myanmar and establishing a preferential tariff arrangement leading to the culmination of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, it was reported here.

Zardari arrived in Myanmar Tuesday on a two-day official visit.Zardari met Myanmar President U Thein Sein, to whom he 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, reported Associated Press of Pakistan from Naypyidaw.

The president's spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that Zardari also called for consultations between the respective central banks to study prospects of establishing a Currency Swap Arrangement for closer economic and trade cooperation.

The president hoped that closer interaction between respective trade bodies would lead to the establishment of a Joint Business Council.

Pakistan and Myanmar have modest trade relations. Two way trade between the two countries stood at $24 million in 2009-10.

The president invited Myanmar diplomats to attend courses at the Foreign Service Academy in Pakistan and emphasised regular high level contacts "to impart new dynamism to our bilateral relations".

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