ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday called for promotion of trade between the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation-member countries in order to improve the living standards of the people.  

In a meeting here with President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Malik, Vice President Senator Haji Ghulam Ali and Executive Member Zubair Ahmad Malik, the FM discussed various issues of mutual interests including promotion of trade relations among SAARC countries.

Qureshi regretted that the volume of trade between SAARC member countries was very low and stressed to enhance it. The Foreign Minister congratulated Iftikhar Malik on his election as President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Iftikhar Malik briefed the Foreign Minister about the new building of SAARC Chamber Headquarters in Islamabad, said a foreign ministry statement.

The trade leader also assured the Foreign Minister that as president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce, he would do his utmost to promote trade and economic cooperation between the SAARC member countries. Separately, the newly appointed Ambassador of Qatar Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani called on Foreign Minister Qureshi on Monday and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries.

FM Qureshi said that Pakistan enjoyed deep, long-standing, and fraternal relations with Qatar. He also congratulated the ambassador of Qatar on assuming his responsibilities in Pakistan and hoped that it would further strengthen Pak-Qatar relations and enhance bilateral cooperation to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region. The ambassador conveyed the message of best wishes from Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the leadership and people of Pakistan.