ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Shairf has said that Pakistan and Sweden can cultivate bilateral relationship as well as in the context of European Union by collaborating in education and economic sectors.

He was talking to a high-level delegation of Swedish parliament led by Per Westerberg, speaker of the Swedish parliament, here on Monday.

The prime minister stressed the need to have regular parliamentary exchanges and sharing experiences. “Pakistan has established a Pak-Sweden Friendship Group and establishment of a separate friendship group for Pakistan in the Swedish parliament would be beneficial for both the countries,” the PM said.

Swedish delegation included members of Swedish parliament Lars Johansson, Gunner Axen, Wiwi-Anne Johansson and Karlin Nilsson. Ambassador of Sweden in Pakistan Tomas Rosander was also present in the meeting. Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also attended the meeting.

The prime minister has also commended the consistent support of Sweden to Pakistan’s quest for GSP Plus status. “GSP plus Scheme would help Pakistan overcome its economic difficulties and will generate job opportunities,” the PM added. He also emphasised the partnership between the Pakistan and Swedish cultural institutions, like museums and art institutions, to forge cultural linkages between the two countries.

Speakers agree to take

Pak-Swedish ties to new heights

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish parliament) Per Westerberg have agreed to take the parliamentary and economic ties between Pakistan and Sweden to new heights.

They further agreed that parliamentary and economic engagement would bring Pakistan and Sweden closer.

The Swedish speaker called on speaker NA at the Parliament House on Monday along with a parliamentary delegation. MNA Mohammad Khan Daha, the convener of Pak-Sweden parliamentary friendship group, was also present during the meeting.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq underscored the need for regular interaction between political leadership, parliamentarians and business communities of both the countries that would take the existing bilateral relations between both the countries to new heights. He also stressed the need for frequent interaction between Pakistani and Swedish parliamentarians to exchange views and experiences. He said, “We can learn a lot from our Swedish colleagues since they have 600 years of democratic history and experiences.”

He said that revival of economy through investment favourable policies and enhancing trade with foreign countries are the top most priorities of the government. He said that energy generation, telecommunication, oil exploration, trade and manufacturing sectors have huge scope and, therefore, Swedish investors should invest in these sectors. He said that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Sweden and the investments by its government and its private sectors. He praised the significant contribution of Swedish companies operating in Pakistan’s economy. He also apprised the Swedish speaker about his recently introduced initiatives for making national assembly more vibrant and responsive to the masses. 

Reciprocating the gesture of his counterpart, Speaker of the Riksdag Per Westerberg said that Sweden also considers Pakistan its closest friend and economic partner. He said that Swedish business community was aware of the huge economic potential that exists in Pakistan and has expressed its keenness for utilising that untapped potential. Appreciating Pakistan’s sacrifices in fight against terrorism, the Swedish speaker assured that Sweden had and would support Pakistan in future to deal with crisis confronting its progress and prosperity.

The Swedish speaker said that parliamentary engagement between the two parliaments would fortify the existing amiable relations between the two countries. He also extended an invitation to the speaker to visit Sweden.

Later on, the speaker visited the National Assembly Hall and saw the historic photos exhibited in the Parliament House.