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Pakistan, Morocco to accelerate work on PTA, FTA

Pakistan, Morocco to accelerate work on PTA, FTA

ISLAMABAD, Jul 19 (APP): Pakistan and Morocco have agreed to accelerate work on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Free Trade Agreement at the conclusion of the First Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) between the two countries held in Rabat on July 17-18, 2008.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Industries and Production issued here on Saturday, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Advisor to the Prime Minister/Minister for Industr ies and Production led the Pakistan side, while the Moroccan side was led by Ahmed Reda Chami, Minister of Industry, Commerce and New Technologies.

The decisions taken in the JMC meeting and minutes recorded were signed in a ceremony held at the conclusion of the Session in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation at Rabat.

The two sides committed to hold the Joint Ministerial Commission annually on a regular basis, alternately in Islamabad and Rabat.

The two sides also agreed to accelerate the pace of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

It was decided to set the dateline of October 2008 to start the negotiations.

The agenda and the roadmap to be followed would be prepared well before October 2008 and exchanged between the two sides.

It was also decided that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) proceedings will also be undertaken at the earliest possible.

It was agreed between Pakistan and Morocco to negotiate the possibility of the setting up a joint venture, for the production of DAP fertilizer either in the public or private sector.

It was agreed that exchange visits of parliamentarians, businessmen, industrialists and scientists, will be arranged regularly through an institutionalized mechanism.

During his stay in Rabat Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo called on Abbas El Fassi, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco, Taib Fassi-Fihri, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Abdellatif Mazouz, Minister of External Trade and Abdallah Baha, Vice President of the House of Representatives and exchanged views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

These meetings as well as the inaugural session of the Joint Economic Commission reflected the close fraternal ties which exist between the two countries.

The meetings also provided an opportunity for both the sides to identify various fields of bilateral cooperation. During his meetings with the Moroccan dignitaries, Wattoo discussed issues relating to war against terror, the rising prices of oil and food commodities and a probable situation of food shortages globally calling for closer interaction between friendly countries.

The Moroccan authorities assured the Advisor of their full support to Pakistan on all issues.

The Foreign Minister further conveyed the desire of King Mohammed VI to solidify cooperation with Pakistan in all fields and expressed Morocco’s will to implement the decisions taken by the JMC.

The Moroccan side appreciated the advancements achieved by Pakistan in the field of agriculture and decided to institutionalize the cooperation. The Pakistan side would similarly benefit from the Moroccan expertise in the fisheries sector.

It was decided that the students exchange programme would be revitalized. Mutual cooperation in the fields of science and technology, culture and tourism, customs, banking and financial services, telecommunication, information and broadcasting and postal services was also agreed upon. The Moroccan side also agreed to consider the Pakistani request to make some DAP fertilizer available on fast track before the coming Rabbi crop.

 source: APP