Vietnam-Pakistan JMC Sees Bilateral Commitments Across Several Sectors

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Jun. 4 – The second session of the Vietnam-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission ended yesterday in Islamabad after two days of talks over free trade agreements, MoUs, joint working groups, and mutual cooperation on a number of issues.

By the end of the meetings, the Vietnamese delegation, headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang, had come to an agreement with their Pakistani counterparts on a joint working group that would see the two nations expand cooperation in the agriculture, livestock, and fisheries industries.

After the meetings concluded, technical experts from both countries continued to discuss areas of mutual interest, specifically regarding the promotion of trade, investment, science and technology, banking, and education.

Both parties agreed to meet in Hanoi later this year to finalize a free trade agreement through Joint Trade Commission talks. The two countries also signed an accord on the promotion and protection of investments and an MoU between the SMEDA and SME Authority of Vietnam has been completed and will be signed in the near future.

Other bilateral agreements include a 10-day reciprocal exchange program for 20 members of each country’s youth delegation, a joint promise to collaborate on research into public health, pharmaceuticals, the development of diagnostics kits and short term training courses, and a commitment to expand the exports of pharmaceuticals from Pakistan to Vietnam.

As this year’s ASEAN chair, Vietnam reiterated while in Islamabad its determination to back a free trade agreement between Pakistan and the Southeast Asian group.

The two countries scheduled the third session of the Vietnam-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission to take place in Hanoi sometime in 2012.