Seoul: President Asif Ali Zardari has offered to set up an economic zone exclusively for South Korean investors in Sindh province of Pakistan. Speaking at a luncheon hosted in his honor by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in Seoul on Tuesday‚ he said Pakistan enjoys great geo-strategic location in the region and offers the best opportunities for investors. “South Korean investors should seize the opportunity and make investment in Pakistan,” he urged.
“Korean investors will be facilitated by all possible means. Their investments can be a win-win situation for both countries. Our bilateral trade has shown an upward trend. It stands at well over 1.5 billion dollars. But we have much greater potential. We can achieve the target of five billion dollars in the next five years. I invite the Korean traders to consider increasing imports from Pakistan. Pakistan has quality products to offer at competitive prices,” he said.
He said Pakistan wants to benefit from the experiences of South Korea‚ which has achieved a splendid progress in a short span of time. “Korea occupies an important place in our ‘Vision East Asia.’ It has achieved remarkable progress in a short span of time. Today it stands as a role model for many a developing country. There is much that we can learn from your experience. We are keen for a long-term‚ mutually beneficial partnership. My visit is intended to translate this desire into reality.”
He said Islamabad-Lahore motorway is an example of the friendship between the two countries.
President Zardari said, “This is my second visit to the beautiful city of Seoul -a city known as the land of morning calm and a miracle of the Han River. I last visited the Republic of Korea in 1996. I was then a member of the delegation led by my late wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto‚ the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. I still cherish the memories of my last visit to Korea.”
“Our two countries established diplomatic relations nearly three decades ago. However‚ the links between our two people date back to over 2‚000 years. Monk Maranatha born in the 4th century introduced Buddhism to Korea. Researchers have shown that he was born in our province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Our city Taxila‚ near Islamabad‚ has been center of Gandhara civilization. It has been the seat of Buddhist learning. We had trade links through the ancient Silk Road. These contacts have been further strengthened since then,” President Zardari said.
President Zardari said although the Afghan war caused immense difficulties for Pakistan yet it is determined to carry the war on terror to its logical end. He said that rooting out terrorism is vital for the progress and prosperity in the region. “The situation in Afghanistan and militancy continues to cast its dark shadows. It continues to threaten regional peace and stability. We have suffered the most on this count. We are engaged in a hard and long war against terror. It is a war against a particular mindset. We are determined to fight this mindset to the finish. We will do everything possible to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan desires peace in its region and in the world. We attach great importance to peace and stability in the Korean region. We extend our full support to a negotiated settlement of the nuclear issue. Let us join hands for a better future for our two countries and our people. Let us work together for peace‚ stability and development in the world,” he said.
South Korean President expressed hope that the bilateral relations will further strengthen with the visit of President Zardari.
In their meeting‚ the two Presidents agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in all fields with special focus on trade and economy.
The two countries also signed two Memorandums of Understandings to enhance cooperation in various economic fields.
Delegations of multinational companies Samsung and LOTTE led by their chief executives separately called on President Zardari in Seoul and discussed means to further promote their investment in Pakistan.