KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari separately received the High Commissioner of Australia Timothy Spencer George and South Korean Ambassador in Pakistan Choi Chung Thoog Joo on Saturday at Bilawal House and discussed bilateral relations with the two envoys. Talking to the Korean ambassador, President Zardari invited Korean companies to invest in Pakistan in building small dams and a modern irrigation system. He suggested that the two countries seriously consider starting barter trade and a currency swap agreement to facilitate trading in local currency. The president said that the world was passing through a phase of recession and it offered a great opportunity to Pakistan and Korea to work together for stimulating their respective markets through currency swap agreement and barter trade for mutual benefit. The supply by South Korea of mosquito repellents, mosquito nets and tents for use in flood affected areas was also discussed. Talking to the Australian High Commissioner the president highlighted the devastation caused by the floods in Sindh and the huge damage it had inflicted on the agriculture sector, said Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar after meeting. The Australian envoy said that he will take up with his government the matter of providing sunflower seed on an urgent basis to help the farmers in Sindh sow sunflower in the coming season in November. The president called for increased trade and commerce between the two countries. President Zardari in another meeting with a two-member delegation of stock exchange invited its members and investors to build infrastructure projects on BOOM (build, operate, own and maintain) basis by raising necessary equity through the countrys stock exchanges. Senior member of KSE Aqeel Dhedi led the delegation. Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah was also present at the meeting. The president said that decline in inflation and crude oil prices provided an environment conducive to investment in infrastructure projects. He said that the government could not finance huge projects because of equity crunch and this factor also offered an opportunity to investors to raise equity through stock exchanges for building infrastructure projects in a win-win scenario. Zardari said that through this scheme the investors owning the project would have guaranteed profit over a very long period of time and the country will also benefit from the new roads, bridges and other infrastructure that will boost economic activity. The president directed the provincial Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah to hold meetings with the stock exchange companies to fine tune the proposal and prepare a workable plan. The first meeting in the series will be held next week. President Zardari also held separate meetings with representatives of money exchange and crop insurance companies. The meetings were also attended by Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad and senior federal and provincial government officials. Zardari told them that the government had given increased incentives to expatriate Pakistanis to remit foreign exchange to Pakistan. He said the government recognised this sector of economy and wanted to strengthen it further through a policy of 'recognise, incentivise and patronise. The president said that foreign exchange remittances during 2007 were around $6 billion which have increased to $11 billion now due to the government policy of incentives. He said that remittances could cross $15 billion a year mark if the expatriate Pakistanis were offered adequate incentives. He advised the money exchange entrepreneurs to improve their services and play a more pro-active role. The meeting with crop insurance companies was attended by Chairman State Life, representatives of ZTBL, State Bank, Finance Ministry and other senior officials. The president said that the crop damage due to floods may be a recurring feature as result of climate change and it was necessary to introduce crop insurance scheme in Pakistan. He directed that the State Life and State Bank should work together with other stakeholders and submit proposals to the government for crop insurance and reinsurance in the commodity market. He said that modern mapping technology was available which could be employed to great advantage in crop insurance by offsetting the possibility of wrong claims. Zardari attained the information about the flood affected districts through video conferencing from a special Flood Control Room set up in Bilawal House to monitor the flood relief work. Elected representatives and district officials were present in the control rooms in district headquarters of Sanghar, Matiari, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tharparker, Jamshoro, Dadu, Ghotki, Hyderabad and Naushehro Feroze who briefed the president on the current status of relief and rehabilitation measures. Meanwhile, taking note of reports of precarious conditions in Raheemnagar in Mirpurkhas and Kunri in Umerkot, Zardari directed to immediately address the acute problems of the flood victims in these areas. He directed the Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar to arrange for de-watering pumps to evacuate the stagnant water in these areas. The Sindh CM was also present in the Control Room of CM House and participated in the video conference. The president also directed that all the recently designated coordination officers to move immediately to the districts assigned to them to personally monitor the progress. The coordination officers who were present in the Flood Control Room will stay in their districts for the next two days before returning to rescue their normal duties in the provincial capital.