ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan and Kuwait signed a loan agreement worth $25 million during the 5th session of the Pakistan-Kuwait Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in Kuwait. This session, held from May 28 to May 30, 2024, marked significant progress in strengthening bilateral ties. The agreement for the loan, intended for the Mohmand Dam, will be signed on June 3, with assurances of support from the Kuwait Fund for engaging the Arab Coordination Group in financing the Diamer Bhasha Dam.

Chaired by Abdul Aleem Khan, Minister for Privatisation, and Omar Saud Al-Omar, Minister for Commerce and Industry of Kuwait, the session highlighted a commitment to enhancing collaboration across various sectors.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ziad Abdullah Al-Najem welcomed Pakistan’s delegation, highlighting the session’s role in advancing bilateral relations. The Kuwait Fund also expressed willingness to consider Pakistan’s financing request for the Kachhi Canal project.

During the JMC proceedings, significant strides were made with the signing of MoUs and agreements in fields such as industrial cooperation, engineering councils, and news exchange. Consensus was reached to formalise MoUs for collaboration in agriculture, maritime, and ports; avoidance of double taxation; quality and safety standards; and higher education commissions. Both sides agreed to establish Joint Working Groups to address trade and investment matters as well as visa and consular affairs.

Abdul Aleem Khan expressed satisfaction with the session’s outcome. He urged Kuwait to streamline visa procedures for Pakistanis, facilitating economic partnership and meaningful interaction, given Pakistan’s skilled workforce. He also invited Kuwaiti investors to leverage Pakistan’s SIFC and identified key sectors for investment.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2024.

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