ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani met his UAE counterpart on Tuesday to discuss investment projects and strengthening cooperation between the two countries at the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, the foreign ministry said.
Pakistan and the UAE enjoy fraternal relations based on shared culture, faith and cooperation in various sectors such as trade, defense and economy. The UAE is Pakistan’s third-largest trade partner after China and the United States. It is also viewed as an ideal export destination by policymakers in the South Asian country due to its geographical proximity with Pakistan that reduces transportation and freight costs.
In June, Pakistan established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a hybrid civil-military body to attract foreign investment in minerals, agriculture and other sectors. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar announced earlier this month that the UAE and Saudi Arabia had both pledged to invest $25 billion each as part of projects under the SIFC.
“FM @JalilJilani met FM of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of #UNGA78,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said in a statement. “They reaffirmed commitment to fraternal ties and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in multiple domains. Various investment projects of the UAE in Pakistan were also discussed.”
The UAE is also home to an estimated 1.8 million Pakistani expatriates and after Saudi Arabia, the second-largest source of remittances for the South Asian nation of over 240 million. Earlier this month, Pakistan’s caretaker commerce minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz said Islamabad and Abu Dhabi were expected to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during the upcoming visit of an Emirati delegation in the last week of September.
Jilani is in New York to attend the annual 78th session of the UNGA, which will run from September 19-26. PM Kakar will address the session on September 22, which would make him the first caretaker prime minister in Pakistan’s history to address the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN.