DAVOS - Pakistan and Switzerland Thursday while noting the rich potential of their bilateral ties called for exploring new avenues of cooperation for mutual benefits.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his desire to strengthen relations with Switzerland in a meeting with President of Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard here on the sidelines of World Economic Forum.

Nawaz said he deeply values relations with Switzerland, which were based on mutual cooperation, amity and trust. He said Pakistan looks forward to enhancing bilateral partnership in diverse areas. He said Switzerland was a friend and an important trade and investment partner of Pakistan.

He said Switzerland's objective, non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach on NSG membership was commendable. "We hope that as part of the NSG troika, Switzerland would continue to maintain this principled stand, especially when it takes over the Chair of the group later this year."

The Swiss president said her county's stance on NSG was non-discriminatory and based on principles.

Nawaz said Pakistan was committed to facilitate and support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process as envisaged under the quadrilateral framework. "We believe that security of Pakistan is directly linked to peace and stability in Afghanistan," he added.

The Swiss president lauded the role played by Pakistan in giving refuge to over three million Afghan refugees.

Nawaz said Pakistan wants peaceful and amicable resolution of all outstanding issues with India. He also expressed his deep concern over the recent developments in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the gross human rights violations by Indian occupation forces, particularly after the extrajudicial murder of Burhan Wani, Nawaz said.

He also thanked the Swiss government for offering postgraduate scholarships to students from Pakistan at various public universities in Switzerland.

The Swiss president said despite the challenges faced by Pakistan, her government was happy to see fast progress made by the country in economy. She said Pakistan was progressing on the right track and said she appreciates the economic map being pursued by his government to promote stability in Pakistan and in the region. She said the people of Pakistan and its armed forces have given great sacrifices against terrorism.

She said the Swiss companies were more than willing to work in Pakistan in such a "positive and enabling" environment. She said her government was also willing to work with Pakistan in hydropower projects.

In a meeting with Group Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Jose Vinals, Nawaz said Pakistan was the new attractive destination for foreign investors that offered security and attractive returns.

The CEO Standard Chartered Bank said Pakistan was an important partner of Standard Chartered Bank and said the bank was working with Chinese banks on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He said his bank was also working on the improvement of the small and medium enterprises.

Talking to the CEO of Procter and Gamble David Taylor, Nawaz said the Pakistan of today was totally different from the one in past and was an attractive place for business from around the world. David Taylor appreciated the conducive business environment in Pakistan and credited the government for improved economy. He said he was very optimistic about the country's economy and was appreciative of Prime Minister's personal interest in the improvement of the business environment in the country. He said there was a lot of conducive environment for the business sector and it was more attractive for foreign investors.

He said his company was providing best quality products for its local consumers. He said keeping in view the government's positive attitude his company was planning to expand operations in the country.