(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) AE Ambassador to Pakistan Essa Abdullah Al Basha Al Nuaimi UAE has underscored the depth of bilateral relations between the UAE and Pakistan, describing them as excellent and based on common history, religion and culture.
He congratulated in an interview with both Pakistani newspapers The Nation and Nawa-i-Waqt published today, President Asif Ali Zardari and people of Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, wishing more progress and prosperity to Pakistan.
The UAE envoy said Pakistan was the first country to recognise the formation of the UAE's Union, citing the cooperation ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of economy, trade and social care.
Following are the excerpts of the interview: Q: Pakistan and UAE are two brotherly countries, what are the prospects of further growth of these relations? A: First of all I would like to extend my heartiest and sincere congratulations to President Asif Ali Zardari and people of Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and I hope and pray that this occasion brings more progress and prosperity to Pakistan. I congratulate also everyone on the occasion of Eidul Fitr.
No doubt that UAE and Pakistan enjoy excellent relations between them with bonds of religion, history and culture, and Pakistan was the first country which recognised the UAE. There is deep cooperation between the two countries in all fields especially in economic and trade sectors and charity work, which is being carried out in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is possible to strengthen these bilateral relations to reach a high level in all areas through existence of a joint committee, which holds regular annual meetings.
Q: UAE has helped Pakistani people in the earthquake of 2005 and floods of 2010-11. Are you satisfied with the pace of relief and development work of your projects? A:One of the priorities of the foreign policy of the UAE as directed by its leadership is to support friendly countries in critical times and natural disasters.
The UAE extends the humanitarian assistance to Haiti in the West and Indonesia in the East. UAE was one of the first countries which rushed the relief to those affected by the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 and carried out relief operations of various kinds and forms, and UAE was the first country to stand by Pakistan when floods swept most parts of Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, and provided humanitarian assistance and financial aid to those affected by floods in different parts of Pakistan.
UAE continues to stand with friendly countries and provides relief to those affected there. The best proof of these development projects is that they are being carried out by the UAE under its assistance programme for Pakistan in the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in education, health and infrastructure sectors, with about 120 million.
There is close cooperation between the two countries to overcome the energy crisis in Pakistan, as the UAE provided a power plant to Pakistan, and is also financing power generation project in addition to setting up a PARCO energy company, which is a joint investment between the two countries.
Q: A large number of Pakistanis are working in UAE. Do you intend to import more Pakistani workers? A: The UAE is keen to make more progress and development and to benefit from manpower in friendly countries including Pakistan for several reasons.
And there is a desire to attract more manpower from Pakistan according to the needs of local market, as they contribute effectively to the developmental process in the UAE and activate the remittances sector, which also contribute to the recovery of the economy of Pakistan. On the other hand, the people from all over the world travel to UAE and there are about 202 nationalities engaged in all business and investment activities. There is a law regarding employment such as labour laws in the UAE which give guarantees and protect their rights and provide them with all the circumstances and possible means under a framework in well-organised manner.
Q: Is UAE ready to invest more in Pakistan in various fields? A: UAE is the second largest investor in Pakistan. The bilateral trade and investments in Pakistan has reached 21 billion in various areas of banking and real estate, energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, ports, housing and aviation, and the two sides are taking interest to hold international expos and joint investments in both countries for the development of this sector and the promotion of economy. The UAE is the first country which had organised a conference to promote investment in Pakistan and that was in Dubai in March 2010.