Representational image of workers at dam construction site. — Reuters

Pakistan and Kuwait have decided to sign a loan agreement worth $25 million in the 5th session of the Pakistan-Kuwait Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) convened in Kuwait.

The key outcomes of the session included the agreement to sign a loan agreement for $25 million on June 3, for the Mohmand Dam, with assurances of support from the Kuwait Fund for engaging the Arab Coordination Group in financing the Diamer Bhasha Dam, according to a press release issued on Friday.

The 5th JMC session convened from May 28 to May 30 in Kuwait, marking a significant stride in strengthening the ties between the two nations.

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

A high-level delegation from Pakistan, representing key ministries including Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Interior, Board of Investment, Petroleum Division, and the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), engaged in fruitful discussions aimed at fostering mutual prosperity.

Ziad Abdullah Al-Najem, undersecretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, extended a warm welcome to Pakistan’s delegation, highlighting the pivotal role of the session in advancing bilateral relations.

Additionally, the Fund expressed its willingness to consider the financing request from the Pakistani government for the Kachhi Canal project.

During the JMC proceedings, significant strides were made with the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements in fields such as industrial cooperation, engineering councils, and the news exchange.

Moreover, consensus was reached to formalise MoUs for collaboration in agriculture, maritime, and ports; avoidance of double taxation; quality and safety standards; and high education commissions.

Both sides also agreed to establish Joint Working Groups (JWGs) to address matters pertaining to trade and investment as well as visa and consular affairs.

Aleem, Federal Minister for Board of Investment, Privatisation, and Communication, Pakistan, expressed contentment regarding the convening of the 5th session of the Pakistan-Kuwait JMC and highlighted the focal points of bilateral discussions.

He underscored the significance of private sector engagement in strengthening economic ties and urged Kuwait to streamline visa procedures for Pakistanis, a crucial step in advancing economic partnership and facilitating meaningful interaction, given Pakistan’s abundant pool of skilled professionals in diverse fields.

He also extended an invitation to Kuwaiti investors to leverage Pakistan’s SIFC and identified key sectors ripe for investment.

The minister commended the positive outcomes, including the establishment of JWGs and the successful conclusion of memoranda in the fields of industry, engineering, and news exchange.

He further conveyed appreciation to the Kuwait counterparts for their hospitality and to the experts for their dedication to advancing mutual interests.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs Secretary and head of delegation at the technical level Dr Kazim Niaz emphasised the potential of the JMC in augmenting trade and fostering cooperation in education, science, and culture, laying the groundwork for a robust partnership.

Dr Niaz also lauded Kuwait’s investment in Pakistan’s strategic sectors, expressing optimism for mutual economic and cultural benefits.

The deliberations during the session encompassed a wide spectrum of sectors, including Commerce and Trade, Food Security and Livestock, Maritime and Ports, Industries and Production, Investment, Energy, Oil, and Natural Resources, Overseas Employment, Visa, Higher Education, Science and Technology, Banking and Finance, Taxation, Arts and Culture, Sports and Tourism, Health, Information and Broadcasting, and Development Cooperation.

In conclusion, Aleem expressed gratitude to Kuwait for hosting the 5th session of the Pakistan-Kuwait JMC, acknowledging the diligent efforts of experts from both nations.

He looked forward to the 6th session of the JMC in Islamabad, anticipating significant progress in all areas of mutual interest.

Omar Saud Al-Omar reiterated Kuwait’s unwavering commitment to implementing the discussed measures, reaffirming the mutual determination to foster a dynamic partnership between Pakistan and Kuwait.

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