Pakistan seeks full dialogue partnership with ASEAN

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that Pakistan wished closer ties with ASEAN countries and the Asia Pacific Region and also sought support of Brunei to attain full dialogue partnership with the ASEAN.He was talking to Commander Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr.Pak-Brunei bilateral relations, including mutual trade and bilateral cooperation between the two countries were discussed during the meeting.Major General Haji Aminuddin Ihsan was accompanied with Pehin Col (Retd) Abdul Jalil Ahmed, High Commissioner, Lt. Col Abidin Bin Timbang and Capt Zulkhairin Bin Ibrahim.Minister for Interior A. Rehman Malik, Minister for Defence Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar, Secretary General M. Salman Faruqui and other senior officials from Pakistan side also attended the meeting.The President said the warm relations between the two countries were characterized by unanimity of views on regional and international issues. He thanked the government of Brunei for generous assistance during the recent devastating floods.He said the Pak-Brunei Joint Investment Company provides a good mechanism to expand the current level of bilateral trade. The President hoped the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the two countries would be concluded soon.The President said that the business and investment environment in Pakistan was conducive and offered investment opportunities in various sectors such as energy, construction, textiles, telecom, finance and agriculture.The President also noted with satisfaction the positive contributions being made by the Pakistani community in Brunei and said that additional requirement of manpower could also be considered by the country.Appreciating existing cooperation in the area of defence, the President hoped that this would be further deepened with the passage of time.Major General Haji Aminuddin Ihsan thanked the President for meeting and expressed the hope that bilateral cooperation and relations would gain further strength with each passing day – APP