BAKU: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meetings with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in the last couple of months are bearing fruits as Baku on Saturday announced a five-year tax exemption on rice imports from Pakistan.
Addressing an international conference “Along the Middle Corridor: Geopolitics, Security and Economy” held at ADA University, Baku, the other day, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said that the decision was the outcome of his meetings with PM Shehbaz held in the last couple of months.
The president said during these meetings, they discussed the agenda of their bilateral relations.
The Azerbaijani president was responding to questions raised by the Executive Director of the Center for Global and Strategic Studies of Pakistan Khalid Taimur Akram, as a participant.
The president said he discussed with Pakistan’s prime minister, the prospects of further intensifying the bilateral economic and trade cooperation and the decision over special regulations for rice from Pakistan, was a reflection of that.
He said they had decided to take this step in order to stimulate the growth of mutual trade between the two countries.
“Why should we buy rice from some other place if we have high-quality rice in the brotherly country? So, that decision was clearly based on our brotherly relations,” the Azeri media quoted the president as saying.
Commenting further, the Azerbaijan president said that his country enjoyed excellent relations with Pakistan.
President Aliyev further said: “We are very grateful to Pakistan for the continuous support which the country demonstrates with respect to Azerbaijan-Armenia relations.
“During the times of occupation, during the war, and after the liberation of our territories, Pakistan was always with us. And this political and moral support is highly appreciated by the people of Azerbaijan.”
He said that he knew that the Gwadar Port of Pakistan was transforming into a big international hub.
PM Shehbaz thanks Azerbaijan’s president
Reacting to the decision, PM Shehbaz thanked Azerbaijan’s president for the five-year tax exemption on the import of rice from Pakistan.
“Pakistan and Azerbaijan will work on boosting economic cooperation through rail and Gwadar port,” the prime minister says.