Islamabad, 31 December 2022 (TDI): The President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, held an official meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Norway, Sadia Altaf Qazi. The meeting took place in Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad.

During the meeting, both officials discussed the bilateral relations between both nations in the fields of education, skill development, and defense. They also deliberate on Pakistan’s cost-effective but highly prized fruits and vegetables exported to Norway.

Remarks by President

Alvi stressed the importance of speeding up engagements and collaboration with Norway in a variety of fields. Trade, business, investment, and green energy are among them.

In this vein, he added, “There is a need to substantially enhance bilateral trade from its existing volume of $128.404 million. It does not represent the true potential.

This can happen by promoting exports of traditional and non-traditional products and services to the rich and affluent market of Norway.”

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Alvi advised the Ambassador-designate to connect and communicate with Pakistani ex-pats and to provide proactive counseling services to them.

Along these lines, he stressed, “The Pakistani expats’ platforms will not only promote bilateral trade and investment, but they will also take significant steps to increase people-to-people relationships.”

President Alvi further stated that efforts should be made to include Pakistan on Norway’s list of prioritizing nations for improving education collaboration under the Panorama strategy 2021–2027.

He advised the Ambassador to work to secure Norway’s support in expediting the conclusion of Pakistan’s free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The President concluded by asking Envoy to create linkages with the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries for possible joint ventures.

These include technology transfer, holding social, cultural, and business events, the exchange of trade delegations, and the reciprocal ease and facilitation of trade and investment.

Pakistan-Norway diplomatic ties

Pakistan maintains friendly relations with Norway. Norway recognized Pakistan as an independent state shortly after its establishment in 1947. Both countries have signed various agreements over the years to strengthen ties.

The Foreign Ministries of Pakistan and Norway have an established system for bilateral political consultations (BPC). The consultations alternate between Islamabad and Norway.

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There are an estimated 50,000 Pakistanis residing in Norway. Presently, four Pakistanis are elected members of the Norwegian Parliament. A number of Pakistani-origin Norwegians were elected during the local municipal elections, held in September 2019.