Joint statement between Prime Minister of Pakistan and PM to mark the first annual summit of the UK-Pakistan Enhanced Strategic Dialogue.
Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK today reviewed the significant progress made under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and the UK that underscores the enduring partnership between the two countries.
The two Prime Ministers noted that since its launch in 2011 the dialogue between the UK and Pakistan has become deeper and broader. At the Summit, the two Prime Ministers reviewed the practical co-operation on shared interests which has intensified across the five areas covered by the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue, including trade, economic growth and development, cultural co-operation, security and education.
Trade and investment
Today Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Cameron launched a Trade and Investment Roadmap, setting out the steps both governments will take to promote investment, support business and achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to £2.5 billion by 2015. Both Prime Ministers challenged UK companies to look at the opportunities the Pakistan market presents and build on the success of the over 100 UK-based companies already doing business in Pakistan. Prime Minister Gilani pledged his government’s full support in ensuring an enabling business environment to attract and sustain UK trade with, and investment in, Pakistan.
Prime Minister Gilani expressed appreciation for the UK’s consistent support to Pakistan for enhanced market access to the European Union. He hoped that the UK would continue to support Pakistan’s request for GSP+ and early finalization of Autonomous Trade Preferences package. Prime Minister Cameron assured UK’s continued support in this regard, and also encouraged Pakistani businesses to look at the opportunities the UK offers and its role as a gateway to Europe.
Economics and development
The two Prime Ministers also noted that the global economic crisis requires both countries to make tough decisions in order to deliver future growth and prosperity. They agreed to continue the regular dialogue between their governments on economic reform recognising that economic stability and setting the conditions for enduring growth are key priorities to ensure prosperity for future generations. Both Prime Ministers agreed to a continued close partnership to help lift millions of people out of poverty and build a stable, prosperous and democratic future for Pakistan. Prime Minister Gilani reiterated his personal commitment to improving the quality of education in Pakistan and welcomed UK support in this regard.
Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed that the UK is open for genuine migrants who are coming to the UK to do a legitimate job or study at a genuine institution. Both Prime Ministers committed to preventing illegal migration as it harms people both in Pakistan and the UK. They agreed to continue to work closely under existing agreements on returning to Pakistan individuals who have no legal right to remain in the UK.
Security and defence
Pakistan and the UK have an unwavering commitment to work together to combat the menace of terrorism and extremism which threatens the people of both countries. Prime Minister Cameron recognised the huge sacrifices being made by the people of Pakistan. Both Prime Ministers committed to enhance the already strong co-operation on countering improvised explosive devices, which cause so many of the needless deaths in Pakistan.
The two Prime Ministers held in-depth discussions on regional and international issues of mutual interest. They underscored the importance of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. They discussed the remaining challenges and agreed to continue working closely on Afghanistan. Prime Minister Gilani briefed Prime Minister Cameron on the recommendations approved by the Parliament regarding reengagement with the US and also briefed him on the ongoing Pakistan-India Peace process.
Prime Minister Cameron pledged his support for a return to international cricket being played in Pakistan and offered to share the UK’s experience in protecting large sporting events. The visiting delegation was briefed on the UK’s preparations for the Olympics on a tour of the UK’s Crisis Response Centre, the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR).
This is an important time for Pakistan. The current government is the longest serving civilian government in Pakistan’s history. Prime Minister Gilani stated that his Government was committed to holding free and fair elections in accordance with the constitution.
The UK and Pakistan enjoy uniquely rich people-to-people links and growing cultural exchange. British Pakistanis continue to make a positive and active contribution to life in the UK. As part of celebrating the connections between the two countries the Prime Ministers welcomed the cultural roadmap that would further intensify the vibrant links between school children, students, young professionals, cultural institutions and higher education sectors.
The close personal connections between the citizens of the two countries are just one of the many distinctive characteristics in UK - Pakistan relations. Pakistan’s future matters greatly to the UK and the UK will be an enduring friend to the government and people of Pakistan. Both countries are committed to working together as equals to create the conditions for greater prosperity and security in Pakistan and the UK.