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Towards closer and closer cooperation

Pakistani Ambassador to Vietnam Samina Mehtab at the ceremony to present the Credential Letter to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.  (Photo: Embassy of Pakistan in Vietnam)
Pakistani Ambassador to Vietnam Samina Mehtab at the ceremony to present the Credential Letter to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, June 16, 2021. (Photo: Embassy of Pakistan in Vietnam)

This March 23rd is the National Day of Pakistan. Can the Ambassador share with readers the historical significance behind this important holiday?

Pakistan Day is the anniversary of the introduction of the 1940 Lahore Resolution, also known as the Pakistan Resolution, which ultimately led to the founding of Pakistan.

On March 23, 1940, Muslim leaders of the subcontinent, including Quaid-e-Azam leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah, adopted the historic Lahore Resolution.

This resolution proposes the establishment of an independent Muslim state in the northwestern and eastern regions of the subcontinent, where the majority of the population is Muslim.

The resolution gave impetus as well as direction to Muslim efforts in the subcontinent. As a result, after only 7 years, Pakistan was established on August 14, 1947.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-Pakistan relations. The two countries have a close relationship that spans many fields. It is known that the Embassy of Pakistan in Vietnam has a detailed plan to organize events on this anniversary. Can the ambassador “reveal” to the audience more about this series of activities?

50 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam is truly an important occasion. Therefore, we have mapped out a series of events to celebrate this milestone.

First, on January 18, the Pakistani Embassy laid a wreath and entered the Mausoleum to pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh, the old father of the Vietnamese nation. This is also a warm-up activity for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Vietnam and Pakistan (November 8, 1972 – November 8, 2022).

Follow-up activities will take place throughout this year, including: the visit of the Pakistani Navy ship to Da Nang, the exchange of parliamentary delegations, the visit of the delegation from the National Defense University of Pakistan, and the announcement. stamp sets, logos commemorating bilateral relations, the establishment of Pakistan Chambers at Vietnamese universities, international conferences, cultural exchange events, friendly cricket and other sports.

I hope all of the above activities will be effective, making an important contribution to bringing Pakistan-Vietnam relations closer and closer.

In 2021, two-way trade turnover between the two countries will reach about 794 million USD. The two sides are striving for a trade turnover of 1 billion USD and this year, do you think this goal is feasible? If so, what cooperation and areas will be prioritized by Pakistan to promote with Vietnam?

Make sure this goal is achievable. The two countries can easily achieve this result by working together, pushing the relationship in the right direction.

Both countries need to explore and exploit the commercial potential in areas such as textiles, fisheries, and information technology.

Regarding textiles, Pakistan is exporting to the world high quality textiles. In addition, according to the latest report of the World Bank, Pakistan’s textile industry is potentially worth $50 billion to the country’s economy.

Similarly in the information technology sector, Pakistan’s exports have surpassed 5 billion USD per year, with remittances exported thanks to exceeding 1.44 billion USD.

Currently, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recognizes more than 12,000 companies operating in the information technology (IT) and information technology enabled services (ITeS) sectors, including businesses operates domestically and is export-oriented.

In addition, Pakistan also has more than 500,000 IT professionals fluent in English, with high expertise in current and emerging information technology products. Every year, Pakistan has more than 25,000 engineers and IT graduates.

Pakistan ranks 4th globally in terms of growth of the freelance market, reaching 1.2 billion USD. Therefore, Vietnamese entrepreneurs have many opportunities to cooperate in the field of information technology with Pakistan.

The presence of the country and people of Pakistan in Vietnamese media is still limited, leading to many Vietnamese people not having enough information and understanding about Pakistani culture and people. Pakistan also has many famous scenic spots and tourist attractions. Does the Ambassador have any initiatives to promote the image of Pakistan in Vietnam further?

In order to enhance cultural exchange, we have been carrying out a number of initiatives, such as broadcasting popular Pakistani TV series and documentaries about Pakistan on VTV.

We are also in the process of negotiating and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Vietnam Television (VTV) and Pakistan Television (PTV). This memorandum will make it easier and faster to share Pakistan-related content with Vietnam.

Furthermore, we are also connecting with travel agencies of both countries to introduce Pakistan’s special Buddhist heritage to Vietnamese people.

I hope that, after the Covid-19 epidemic situation improves, religious tourism will bring Pakistan and Vietnam closer together.

It is known that the Ambassador has been on assignment in Vietnam since 2021. After a year, how do you feel about the country and people of Vietnam? Do you have an interesting story you would like to share with TG&VN readers, Ambassador?

Having said that, so far, I have had an amazing experience. I have always felt that Vietnamese people are very warm and helpful. So it never felt like I was thousands of miles away from the country.

Vietnam has a rich cultural heritage and amazing landmarks, I am truly blessed to have discovered this beautiful country. I must also emphasize that Vietnam has made tremendous economic progress and is growing at an amazing rate.

Regarding work, I am always ready for effective help from Vietnamese officials and ministries, departments and agencies. They always welcome suggestions and always make my issues a priority.

Thank you Ambassador!

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