Pak PM to visit France on 4-day official tour

The 2 sides may ink MoU to establish Pakistan-France Joint Business Council.

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will begin a four-day official visit to France on May 03 during which the two countries are expected to sign a joint declaration on security cooperation and economic partnership.

Gilani will hold talks with the top French leadership, including President Nicholas Sarkozy, on a range of issues, including security and trade, officials said today.

This is his first official visit to France and he will also interact with business community.

The two countries are also expected to ink a memorandum of understanding to establish the Pakistan-France Joint Business Council.

The body will work to strengthen trade linkages in energy, telecommunications, infrastructure, banking, environment, waste management and defence.

The Prime Minister`s delegation will include Privatisation Minister Naveed Qamar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Advisor to PM on Minorities Affairs Paul Jacob Bhatti.

Officials said Gilani`s meeting with Sarkozy will focus on regional and international issues and bilateral relations in the changing global scenario.

Gilani is also likely to meet the spiritual leader Prince Karim Aga Khan while in France.

Bilateral trade between France and Pakistan was USD 1106.19 million last year, with Pakistan’s exports accounting for USD 682.77 million.

The French government provided EUR 1.3 million and around 200 tonnes of relief goods during the devastating floods in Pakistan last year.

PTI

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