Australia wants to engage and cooperate with Pakistan not only in development but also as partners in trade and investment. This was stated by Australian High Commissioner Tim George at a reception at his residence lawns here on Wednesday.
Diplomats, government officials, politicians and friends of the commissioner were gathered at the evening. The guests were served Australian cheese along with BBQ, as a live band from Australia “Fiddlers Feast” performed.
The event symbolises the importance that Australia places on its strong and enduring partnership with Pakistan, said the ambassador. He added that there was a vast potential in the investment sector which was beneficial for both the countries. Australia presents an excellent market for Pakistani exporters. Australia is now the 13th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $US 1.6 trillion and a global trading nation with two-way trade in excess of US$550 billion.
George said that trade between Pakistan and Australia is at US$800 million and has the potential to grow. Apart from agriculture, the country was also working in areas of minerals and energy. “There is a niche opportunity for both countries to work in and expand,” he said.
By the looks of recent defence cooperation, training has been rapidly increasing between both the countries. Transnational crimes such as anti-narcotics, anti-terrorism, money laundering and smuggling are also a focus for Australia in Pakistan, he added.
AUSAID had also set up a picture exhibit displaying their contribution in the development sector. George said that AUSAID has been working in various sectors such as education, health and for the recovery of the flood victims.
Moreover, the reception afforded the outgoing ambassador and his wife an opportunity to bid farewell to colleagues and friends in the capital. The new ambassador will take over in June.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2012.
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