Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar, in a meeting with US Ambassador Paul W Jones in Islamabad, Pakistan had huge halal meat production and it could enter into the world market through American support and joint ventures could also be established.
The American envoy called on the federal minister and discussed the matter of mutual interest and agriculture development. Agricultural Counselor Rey Santella and USAID Rural and Economic Development Office Director Jeff Goebel were also present.
HEALTHY COOPERATION: In the meeting, various areas and prospective potential for agro cooperation were discussed. Pakistan has a history of collaboration with the United States through USAID. The minister said that the agriculture sector is vital for Pakistan’s economy and GDP growth.
He said that the government is looking forward to healthy cooperation in the agro sector for mutual benefits. “We are focusing on mutual collaboration by providing enabling platform in the public sector.” He said the government had launched history’s largest agriculture development program which showed its commitment towards a revival of this sector.
Khusro Bakhtiar told the US ambassador that in order to achieve high yield through accurate scientific means would enable Pakistan to plan the crop sowing priorities and to meet challenges of production especially enhancing cotton, pulses and indigenous edible oil growth for there was a huge import bill.
AMERICAN FOOTPRINTS: The ambassador said that it already had its footprints in Pakistan especially in the agriculture sector for soybean was exported here from the US. Moreover, there were a number of projects in the livestock and dairy sector through USAID interventions.
Khusro Bakhtiar said that the government is looking forward to cooperation in developing cold chain, value addition facilities in various horticulture products, dairy and meat. He said that joint ventures in these areas would be a convenient approach for unleashing the potential in a short span of time.
Paul W Jones said that the US was well aware that Pakistan was an important agricultural country. Exchange of technologies in the agro field including cooperation in value addition and public-private partnership would be welcomed by both sides.
DISASTER SYSTEM: He said that the experts in various areas, for instance, dairy, livestock, fisheries could exchange visits for learning new technologies. He said that he was grateful for efforts rendered by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research for facilitating the export of exotic dairy animals to Pakistan and also assured that he would pursue matters discussed in the meeting rigorously.
During the meeting, USAID Director of Rural and Economic Development Office Jeff Goebel told the federal minister that for the purpose of USAID had a separate department called Disaster System and if requested, officially it may intervene and provide support wherever needed.
AIIB DELEGATION MEETS MINISTERS: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) delegation led by its President Jin Liqun called on Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar to support projects in power generation and transmission, transport, water supply sectors, information technology and other matter of mutual interest.
Hammad Azhar acknowledged the bank’s support in different infrastructural project and emphasized that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank further scale up it’s financing for Pakistan’s development projects. He said that AIIB is a valuable contributor to Pakistan’s development path.
Jin Liqun said that AIIB is one of the leading development partners of Pakistan and the bank fully supports the government’s development vision and policies. He expressed that AIIB is providing its support for policy reforms and project financing in key priority areas such as energy, road, social sector, water and irrigation, and urban services.
Jin Liqun along with his delegation also called on Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar and discussed with him matters of mutual interests. The minister welcomed the delegation and said Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with the bank.
He told the delegation that energy, communication and water management projects were on the priority of the government. Apart from the energy and infrastructure sectors, the government was focusing on tourism, small and medium enterprises, information technology and housing sectors.