UAE-Pakistan ties: Built on trust, cooperation

You assumed office in January. What are your focus areas now when it comes to strengthening relationships with the UAE?

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Pakistan and UAE relations are multifaceted and marked by mutual trust and cooperation in various fields, including politics, the economy, culture and defence. The presence of about 1.6 million Pakistanis in the UAE is also a manifestation of the people-oriented relationship between the two countries. Frequent high-level visits and close leadership-level contacts in recent years have been instrumental in strengthening our close and cordial brotherly ties. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to the UAE in December last year was a follow-up of recent high-level contacts. I am confident that our bilateral ties would continue to grow stronger to the mutual benefit of both nations.

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What are the main areas of cooperation between the two nations?

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I foresee a greater potential for enhanced cooperation between the UAE and Pakistan in the areas of food processing, fashion, higher education, medicine, petrochemicals, IT, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

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Can you provide up-to-date figures of trade between the two countries? What are the major products that are being traded between Pakistan and the UAE?

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The UAE remains one of Pakistan’s largest trading partners in the MENA region. Trade between the two countries reached $7.5 billion (Dh27.5 billion) during the financial year 2019-2020.

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Imports from the UAE comprise oil and oil-based products, while Pakistan mainly exports food and textile products. There is ample potential for cooperation in various areas including processed food, textiles, building materials, auto parts and surgical goods.

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Are you expecting any high profile visit this year?

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Exchange of high-level visits remains a key feature of our bilateral relations. We are confident that these contacts will continue in the future.

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What are your plans for the Pakistani community in the UAE and what steps have you taken to connect with the community during the pandemic?

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Service of the community remains a top priority for me. I strongly believe that accessibility is essential to support Pakistani nationals in this friendly country. I have advised my team members to remain accessible to the community and resolve their issues on a priority basis. We act as a bridge between the UAE government and our community. My focus would be on exploring more job opportunities for Pakistani workers.

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Finally, how does the Embassy plan to celebrate Pakistan Day?

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Following precautionary measures amid the pandemic, the embassy will be holding limited events, which includes the flag hoisting ceremony at the premises of the embassy to celebrate Pakistan Day with traditional zeal and fervour.

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On this auspicious occasion, I would like to extend best wishes to all Pakistanis living in the UAE. I would also appeal to all community members to respect the local standard operating procedures on Covid-19 in their own interest as well as in the interest of people around them.

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