President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday stressed the need for expeditious signing of the mutually agreed upon Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Switzerland after taking all stakeholders on board.
The president, in a meeting with outgoing Ambassador of Switzerland in Pakistan Bénédict de Cerjat, who paid a farewell call on him, said the FTA would provide a formal framework for enhanced and speedy cooperation in the fields of trade, economy and commerce.
The president said that the world community should take serious notice of the rising Islamophobia and polarization in Indian society.
He called upon the international community to take meaningful steps for curbing the incidents of intimidation and terrorization of minorities in India, and violence connected with Islamophobia to mitigate the sufferings of Indian Muslims and other religious minorities.
President Alvi emphasized that refugees originating from any part of the world should be treated with equity and equality. They should also be extended with facilities and refuge without any discrimination on the basis of colour, creed, race, religion or region.
He further urged the need for taking practical steps by the international community to help defuse tensions and unrest in conflict-ridden countries, besides creating enabling conditions for peace to prevent their populations from turning into refugees to reduce the pressure on receiving countries.
The president said that Pakistan could benefit from the Swiss experience in technical education and training in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
He hoped that the outgoing ambassador would work toward realizing the full potential of tourism-related cooperation between the two countries.
The president said that Pakistan valued Switzerland’s long-term partnership with Pakistan in the economy, trade and commerce.
He appreciated Swiss contributions towards the socio-economic development of the country as well as the humanitarian assistance provided by Switzerland.
The president felicitated the outgoing ambassador on completing a successful tenure in Pakistan.
He appreciated his efforts for the promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in promoting a soft image of Pakistan through social media.
Switzerland is the sixth-largest investor in Pakistan in the fields of food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineering sectors.