Dawn (Pakistan), 26 April 2006
Free trade pact with Bahrain shortly
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD, April 25: Pakistan and Bahrain will shortly ink Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which would boost trade between the two countries.
“The Early Harvest Agreement in this regard is being negotiated”, Ambassador of Pakistan in Bahrain Iftikhar Hussain Kazmi said while speaking to a team of Pakistani journalists on Monday in Mina Suleman. He said drafts had already been exchanged with the GCC in this regard.
He said a memorandum of understanding between Pakistan and Bahrain on the export of manpower was also in the pipeline. He, however, said that there was a demand of skilled, semi-skilled labour, doctors and engineers and there was no need of unskilled workers.
Asked as to what difficulties the Pakistanis living in Bahrain face, he said most of the Pakistanis complain about the land grabbing mafia in Pakistan.
He said his embassy had written a number of letters to the concerned ministries and divisions highlighting the complaint but, he regretted, the response was not very positive.
The ambassador was of the view that if the confidence of overseas Pakistanis were shattered it would be very difficult to regain it once again.
Talking about investment opportunities in Pakistan, the ambassador said the businessmen of Bahrain had shown their keen interest in the development of Gwadar Port and other projects in the country.