ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Murray McCully here on Friday said that his country was keen to expend its economic ties with Pakistan. Murray McCullay called on Minister for Finance, Mohammad Ishaq Dar and discussed scope of expansion of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Welcoming the Foreign Minister of New Zealand the Finance Minister said that there was a great potential and scope of expansion of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
The minister said that the government had already taken difficult decision and carried out structural reform along with stabilization measures in order to bring macro-economic stability in Pakistan in the first three years of the tenure of the present government.
Pakistan was working on a plan to overcome its energy crisis which included short term and long term projects in the energy sector, he added.
In this connection he highlighted the huge hydel potential of the River Indus, an area where Pakistan seeks international assistance and investment.
Pakistan, he said was already working on construction of coal power projects based on super critical technology to generate cheap power in the short term, he added.
Murray McCully said that he is well aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by Pakistan and the new PML (N) government. New Zealand, he said is keen to expand its economic ties with Pakistan.
The Finance Minister said that presently PSE’s were causing a huge loss of an estimated Rs 500 billion per annum which could be saved and utilized for investment in developing human resources, health and education in the country.
Expressing his gratitude to Pakistan, the Foreign Minister of New Zealand said that the close relations between the two countries is reflected in the support extended to each other in multilateral fora and express the desire to maximize this cooperation.
He raised an issue that imports of dairy products from New Zealand suffer from discrimination due to tax anomalies. The Finance Minister assured to look into the matter.
Murray McCully also offered scholarships for capacity building and training of human resources to Pakistan.
He said that 50% of the power generated in New Zealand in produced through hydel generation. New Zealand can extend its expertise, skills and technology in assisting Pakistan in developing its hydel potential.
Murray McCully who is also holding the portfolio of Sports informed the Finance Minister that Australia and New Zealand were jointly hosting the next World Cricket Cup in 2015.
He extended an invitation to Pakistan and expressed the hope that this would provide an opportunity to business persons to interact and explore new avenues of cooperation between the two countries.
The meeting was also attended by the High Commissioner of New Zealand to Pakistan, Brian Sanders, Stephen Harris, Moin Fuda New Zealand’s Honorary Council General, Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood, Advisor to Finance Ministry Rana Asad Amin and senior officials.