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Australia to boost cooperation with Pakistan, says Austrian envoy.

ISLAMABAD, October 29, 2009 (Balochistan Times): Australias High Commissioner to Pakistan, Tim George, visited Lahore for a series of calls on political and business leaders from 25 to 29 October 2009. During his visit, George called on Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Nawaz Sharif, City Nazim Lahore Mian Amer Mahmood, Chief Secretary Javed Mahmood, Home Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif, as well as the provincial secretaries of agriculture, livestock and irrigation, briefing them on the Australian Governments increased engagement with Pakistan. He also had valuable discussions on opportunities to boost the trade and investment relationship between Australia and Pakistan, particularly in Punjab. According to a handout issued here, George noted Lahores importance as one of South Asias cultural capitals, and Punjabs significant role as a centre of economic activity. George highlighted Australias increased development cooperation program in Pakistan, which recently doubled to A$60m per year, defence cooperation, and capacity building in policing and law enforcement. He welcomed the recent four-year extension of the Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP), a highly successful Australian Government initiative which has seen significant benefits to those participants from the citrus, mango and dairy sectors. He visited villages around Okara inspecting farms that participate in the ASLP and also visited the Livestock Production Research Institute in Bahadur Nagar Okara. Reflecting Punjabs importance to Pakistans industrial and agriculture sectors, Mr George met business leaders, including the President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, and separately with other senior representatives of the business community at a function hosted by Australias Honorary-Consul in Lahore, Salim Ghauri. These discussions, also attended by Austrades Regional Business Development Manager, Imran Saeed Khan, focused on Australias interest in developing the trade and investment relationship, strengthening the links between the business communities of Australia and Pakistan and improving agricultural management techniques in Pakistan, including through the ASLP.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 29, 2009
Words:315
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