ISLAMABAD - New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Friday while meeting Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Finance Ministry, said that there was great potential of expansion of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
Murray McCully said that he was well aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by Pakistan and the new government. New Zealand, he said is keen to expand its economic ties with Pakistan.
The Finance Minister said that the present government is carrying out structural reforms along with stabilisation measures in order to bring macro-economic stability in Pakistan in the first three years of the present government.
The Finance Minister said that Pakistan was working on a plan to overcome its energy crisis which included short term and long term projects in the energy sector. He highlighted the hydel potential of the River Indus, an area where Pakistan seeks international assistance and investment. Pakistan, the Finance Minister said was already working on coal power projects to generate cheap power, he added.
Expressing his gratitude to Pakistan, the Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully said that close relations between the two countries is reflected in support extended to each other in multilateral fora and expressed the desire to maximize this cooperation.
Murray McCully raised an issue that imports of Dairy Products from New Zealand suffer from discrimination due to tax anomalies. The Finance Minister assured Murray McCully to look into the matter. McCully also offered scholarships for capacity building and training of human resources to Pakistan.
The Finance Minister said that presently PSE's were causing a huge loss of an estimated Rs500 billion per annum which could be saved and utilised for investment in developing human resources, health and education in the country.
McCully said that 50% of the power generated in New Zealand is 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 Cricket World Cup in 2015. He extended invitation to Pakistan and expressed 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 HE 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.