This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Zardari - Pakistan Ready to Partner With Nigeria On Trade

President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan has asked Nigeria to take advantage of his country's expertise in textile to enter into joint ventures to revive its textile and garments industry.

Zardari, who received President Goodluck Jonathan in Islamabad Wednesday, said Pakistan was ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on education, maritime, oil and gas development, agriculture development, trade and communication for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.

Spokesperson to the president, Senator Farhatullah Babar, said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere where the two presidents discussed a number of issues ranging from bilateral relations to further exploring and working out ways and means for further strengthening the existing relations.

Zardari, while welcoming his counterpart to Pakistan, who is paying visit after 30 years, highlighted the friendly and cordial relationship between the two countries and said Pakistan was keen to further strengthen its political, economic and commercial ties with Nigeria.

He said Pakistan wanted to engage actively with Nigeria, at bilateral and multilateral level, being an important country in Western Africa and also sharing with Pakistan identical views on regional and global issues.

While noting the existing negligible volume of trade between the two countries, he said that the size and potential of the two countries needs to be fully exploited so as to translate it into economic terms.

Zardari proposed that the two sides may sign a bilateral trade agreement which would significantly help to enhance trade interaction between the two countries.

He also said Pakistan was also keen to open its trade mission in Lagos.

The President said Pakistan could offer courses to Nigeria in science and technology, finance, economics, banking and agriculture.

He also said Nigeria may explore opportunities to benefit from the developed defence industry of Pakistan.

Jonathan appreciated the elaborate arrangements made by Pakistan for the D-8 Summit.

He also expressed his country's keen desire to further strengthen its multi-faceted relations with Pakistan and to further cement trade and economic ties with the country as to take advantage of the available opportunities.

Meanwhile Nigeria is to sign a trade agreement with Pakistan in a bid to pave the way for direct flight operations between both countries.

The Bi-lateral Air Service Agreement deal with Pakistan was reached between Janathan and Zardari.

According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, who briefed newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, he said that the two leaders agreed to invigorate the existing Nigeria-Pakistani Joint Commission to promote trade relations and co-operations between the two countries.

The presidential spokesman said the two leaders acknowledged the need to strengthen the existing cooperation between both countries, particularly, in the area of security, military and banking.

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