Islamabad: Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) Mr. Per Westerberg have agreed to boost up parliamentary and economic ties between Pakistan and Sweden.
They also agreed that parliamentary and economic engagement would bring Pakistan and Sweden more closer. The Swedish Speaker called on Speaker National Assembly in Parliament House on Monday along with a parliamentary delegation. The Convener of Pak-Sweden Parliamentary Friendship Group Mr. Mohammad Khan Daha, MNA was also present during the call on.
The Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq underscored the need for regular interaction between political leadership, parliamentarians and business communities of both the countries that would take the existing bilateral relations between both the countries to new heights.
He also stressed the need for frequent interaction between Pakistani and Swedish Parliamentarians to exchange views and experiences. He said that we could learn a lot from our Swedish colleagues since they had 600 years of democratic history and experiences.
Talking about the democracy in Pakistan, he said that democracy has taken roots and present parliament consists of progressive political forces.
He said that parliament in the country is vibrant and have exhibited a record unanimity on issues of vital national interests. The Speaker said that the recent smooth transition of power from one elected government to another is a great motivation for strengthening of the democratic institutions in Pakistan.
He said that revival of economy through investment favorable policies and enhancing trade with foreign countries is the top most priority of the government.
The Speaker said that present government has created favorable environment for foreign investment by introducing various incentives and reforms in the economic sector. He said that energy generation, telecommunication, oil exploration, trade and manufacturing sectors have huge scope therefore; Swedish investors should invest in these sectors.
He said that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Sweden and the investments by its government and its private sector. He praised the significant contribution of Swedish companies operating in Pakistan’s economy. He also apprised the Swedish Speaker about his recently introduced initiatives for making National Assembly more vibrant and responsive to the masses.
The Speaker said that Pakistan appreciates Swedish support to Pakistan for attaining GSP plus status and EU’s Autonomous Trade Preferences for Pakistan (ATPs).
He said that Pakistan has badly been affected by the insurgency resulting in disruption of economic activity in the country, however, the award of GSP+ status to Pakistan by European Union was a step forward for generation of economic activity in the country.
Reciprocating the gesture of his counterpart, Speaker of the Riksdag Mr. Per Westerberg said that Sweden also considers Pakistan its closest friend and economic partner.
He said that Swedish business community was aware of the huge economic potential that exists in Pakistan, therefore, have expressed its keenness for utilizing that untapped potential. Appreciating Pakistan’s sacrifices in fight against terrorism, the Swedish Speaker assured that Sweden had and would support Pakistan in future to deal with crisis confronting its progress and prosperity.
The Swedish Speaker agreed with Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and said that parliamentary engagement between the two parliaments would fortify the existing amiable relations between the two countries.
He said that Rikstag would embark on a realistic and issue driven program for enhancing cooperation between both the parliaments. He appreciated the personal determination of the Speaker for initiating practical measures for deepening the relations between Pakistan and Sweden.
He assured the Speaker that engagement between parliamentarians would actively continue in the days ahead. He said that this visit helped him and his colleagues to see the reality about Pakistan. He also agreed for enhancing economic cooperation in diverse fields. He also presented an invitation to Speaker to visit Sweden.
Later on, the Speaker visited the National Assembly Hall and saw the historic photos exhibited in the Parliament House. The Secretary National Assembly briefed the delegation about the working of the Parliament and its Standing Committees.