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News: March 2007

PAKISTAN, UZBEKISTAN AGREE TO COOPERATE IN AGRICULTURE UPLIFT - REPORT

Pakistan and Uzbekistan agreed to establish mutual cooperation for agricultural development, Pakistan's Daily Times reported.

The report said the agreement took place in a meeting between a delegation of Uzbekistan headed by S. Ismaoilov, Minister for Agriculture and Water Management, Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Cooperation and other members of Uzbek delegation who met Punjab Agriculture Minister, Arshad Khan Lodhi today to discuss various avenues for mutual cooperation to develop agriculture sector. It was also agreed to formalize exchange programme for scientists and farmers to benefit from research and mutual experiences.

Arshad Khan Lodhi welcomed the delegation and appreciated their interest and proposal to cooperate particularly in the areas of conventional breeding, hybridation and biotechnology for developing agriculture. He informed that Punjab is the largest province and contributing 80 percent of the agricultural produce in Pakistan.

The Punjab agriculture secretary briefed that agriculture sector is contributing 24% of DGP and offering 45% employment with main policy focus to ensure food security for the population.

He further told that Pakistan is observing strict sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures to maintain high quality standards for agricultural produce according to WTO agreements. He mentioned that Pakistan is producing 22 million ton wheat and exporting surplus wheat to Afghanistan and Middle East. He told Pakistan is spending huge foreign exchange for import of edible oil and phosphate fertilisers.

Source: UzReport, 7.03.2007

UZBEK AGRICULTURE MINISTER MEETS PAKISTANI FM

Minister for Water and Agriculture of Republic of Uzbekistan, Sayfiddin Ismoilov met Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sh. Minovarov and Uzbek Ambassador to Pakistan Osmanov.

The two ministers discussed issues of bilateral interest as well as regional situation, Pakistan Link reported.

They agreed that there was a great potential for mutual cooperation especially in the field of trade and economy, the report said.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister emphasized that the two countries should take full advantage of their geographical proximity to enhance economic cooperation.

Referring to strong commonalities of history, faith and culture, the Foreign Minister also highlighted the scope of increased cooperation in cultural exchanges.

The Uzbek side welcomed the completion of the Gwadar Port which would provide Central Asia with the shortest access to the sea.

Talking about the situation in Afghanistan, both the Ministers hoped that peace and stability in Afghanistan will lead to open this transit corridor.

The Uzbek Minister for Agriculture is leading a delegation at Pakistan-Uzbekistan Joint Commission Meeting (JMC). The Co-Chairman of the JMC from Pakistan side is Minister for Water and Power Liaqat Ali Jatoi.

Source: UzReport, 7.03.2007