UK PM announces Rs 350bn per year trade boost for Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: British Prime Minister, David Cameron left Pakistan on Tuesday night
hailing the UK’s relationship with Pakistan as one of 'trust, mutual benefit and
Mr Cameron visited Islamabad for talks with Prime Minister Gilani, President Zardari
and other political leaders, including wide ranging discussions on the UK-Pakistan
Strategic Dialogue on trade, education and national security.
Speaking in a press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Mr
Cameron announced an agreement to increase bilateral trade with Pakistan to Rs
350bn per year by 2015.
Mr Cameron outlined further trade-related actions including pushing for greater
access for Pakistan to European markets, supporting economic reform in Pakistan
and encouraging British business to invest more in the country.
The Prime Minister spent a full day in Islamabad, first paying his respects at Faisal
Mosque, and later celebrating Earth Day with students at Islamabad College for Girls.
Mr Cameron chatted with students and school staff, and was shown art work
produced by the students, a press release received from British High Commission
[BHC] Islamabad said on Wednesday.
Education was a key theme of the Prime Minister’s visit. He announced that the UK
would help to put 4 million children into school, train 90,000 teachers and provide 6
million textbooks as part of the largest overseas education programme ever funded
by the UK.
In a keynote speech at Comsats University, the Prime Minister said: “Trade is much
more important than aid to your future, as it will help Pakistan become more self-
That’s why I will work tirelessly to trade more with you, and help open up more
markets to you.
Already Britain is one of your largest trading partners.
And today, I’m setting an ambitious target to increase the value of our trade in
goods and services to Rs 350 billion a year by 2015.
At the same time, back in Europe, we will continue to be the strongest possible
advocate for greater Pakistani access to European Union markets.”
The Prime Minister spoke of his commitment to strengthen the UK’s relationship with
Pakistan, saying: “Every step of the way we in Britain will be on your side, investing
in your future, helping you to grasp the difficult challenges, working with you.
I want our relationship to be one of trust; mutual benefit; opportunity. One where
we have together built an unbreakable partnership for the benefit of our countries,
our people and our world.”