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UK largest bilateral development partner of Pakistan: Federal Minister

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Monday said the United Kingdom was one of the largest and important bilateral development partners of Pakistan.

Ms. Annabel Gerry, Development Director of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to Pakistan called on Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in his office to discuss matters of mutual interest.

The Minister expressed satisfaction at the current status of bilateral relations and underlined the importance of exploring ways and means to further enhance the existing multifaceted partnership. He also highlighted the current flood situation of the country and expressed the need for collaboration in areas of strengthening flood resilience.

The Development Director, FCDO, Ms. Annabel Gerry also highlighted that the development cooperation between the two countries started in 1950s. The UK, she said, through the erstwhile DFID (now Foreign Commonwealth Development Office-FCDO), had provided significant support for socio-economic development in Pakistan.

She further apprised the Minister about the various development programs and areas in which the Government of the UK was working for enhancing collaboration.

The areas for potential collaboration include various programs on infrastructure development financing, special focus on women empowerment and development projects related to them, provision of technical assistance in modernizing education sector of Pakistan and programs related to energy security and climate conservation.

The Minister expressed gratitude and appreciation on the assistance in diverse areas. He reiterated the need for assistance and grant in flood relief measures.

The Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Humair Karim, stated that Pakistan and the United Kingdom enjoyed a cordial relationship, and that Pakistan was looking forward to further enhance the bilateral relations.

He stressed on the revival of Development Partnership Agreement and Bilateral Assistance Talks to collaborate in different areas, and to align the areas of focus of the FCDO with the development priorities of Government of Pakistan.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Gerry appreciated the officers of Economic Affairs Division for their support.

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