NEW YORK - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposed initiation of a strategic dialogue and a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, with an objective to translate the ties between the two countries into a meaningful relationship.

The prime minister met South Korean President Park Geun-hye, here at the UN headquarters on the sidelines of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly. The two leaders affirmed the resolve to boost trade ties between their countries.

In this regard, the PM said his country would welcome further investment by South Korea. He said power generation was a priority for Pakistan and sought greater participation by the Korean companies in this regard.

The Korean president also proposed holding of a dialogue to explore ways to identify new economic opportunities between the two countries.

The two leaders also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. President Park Geun-hye appreciated Pakistan's efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. He also accepted an invitation by the prime minister to visit Pakistan.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday. The prime minister thanked the World Bank for providing financial support and technical assistance to Pakistan over the years, particularly in infrastructure development, energy, water and social sectors. He sought Bank’s financial assistance for construction of dams to help meet energy shortfall of the country.

The World Bank president expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s improved economic situation due to effective fiscal policies of the present government. He said that Pakistan’s impressive growth trajectory was being noted by everyone.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also met with Senegal President Macky Sall, who hailed Pakistan as one of the most important Muslim countries with a prominent role in OIC and the Muslim Ummah.

President Sall praised Pakistan’s contribution to counter-terrorism and expressed his country’s interest in defence cooperation, including procurement of defence equipment from Pakistan. He sought to benefit from Pakistan’s expertise in agriculture, scientific research and science and technology.

Both leaders agreed to explore ways to enhance bilateral trade volume from its current level of $37 million. Early convening of the inaugural session of Joint Ministerial Commission would prove useful in this regard, they agreed.

The prime minister also invited companies from Senegal to invest in Pakistan to take advantage of its liberal investment regime.

At the multilateral level, cooperation in the UN and OIC was discussed. Pakistan’s position on UN reform, particularly expansion of the UN Security Council was shared with the Senegalese side.

On this occasion, the PM extended an invitation to Senegalese president to visit Pakistan, besides asking his country to open their embassy in Islamabad.