Call to enhance Pak-Russian coop in power generation

ISLAMABAD - There is wide scope for further expansion and consolidation of business and trade relations between Pakistan and the Russian Federation, especially in the field of power generation to the mutual advantage of both the countries, observed Chairman Senate Mohammedmian Soomro. He was talking to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Pakistan, Sergey N. Peskove, who made a farewell call on him at his residence here. The Chairman said that promotion of economic relations between the two countries and greater cooperation between their private sectors would benefit both the countries. "It is important to boost our trade and economic relations by inducting the respective private sectors, which are very keen to explore new avenues," he added. The Ambassador, welcoming the idea, observed that Russia attaches great significance to its relations with Pakistan as both are neighboring countries, having great potential to improve the quality of life of their people. He said that Russian businessmen and entrepreneurs are keen to expand business relations with their Pakistani counterparts. He suggested frequent exchange of business delegations and closer interaction with the Federations of Commerce and Industry of the two neighbouring countries. He particularly mentioned that Russia can help Pakistan overcome its present energy and power crisis by undertaking construction of turbines for small power stations as well as building power stations. The Chairman said with the increase in population and development of industrial sector, the demand for electricity has increased manifold. Thus, Pakistan could be an attractive destination for all desirous of investing in the energy sector as it offers lucrative returns. He said that joint ventures could be undertaken in this field since the demand for electricity and energy is expected to increase further in the years to come. He said the country continues to strive for more economic ways of power generation, he said. The Chairman also emphasized the need for greater Parliamentary exchanges between the two countries. The Ambassador thanked the Chairman and the GoP for the cooperation and hospitality extended to him during his tenure here and said he enjoyed his stay in Pakistan. Telecom growth Chairman Senate Mohammedmian Soomro said regulatory regime in the telecom sector was not meant to hamper growth of this vital sector, rather it intends to check misuse and abuse of mobile phone facility particularly with regard to terrorist activities. The Chairman Senate was talking to the President and CEO Telenor Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who called on him at his residence this evening. He was accompanied by Arve Johansen, Deputy CEO Head of Telenor Asia. Soomro said telecom sector had witnessed phenomenal growth in Pakistan owing to the conducive policies of the govt, which was committed to development of telecom and to provide a level playing field to all major players in this sector. The government is fully aware of the vital link between a reliable communication network and development and with this end in view it is pursuing investment friendly policies to promote growth. Telecom sector is not only providing efficient service to the bulk of the population but also generating employment opportunities for the people, he added. The Chairman further observed that Pakistan is situated in a region where security environment is unfortunately not so ideal and the country has been facing the brunt of the global war on terror. Situation in Afghanistan and the Western borders also calls for cautious treading. Therefore, the regulations being introduced by the government with regard to the documentation of mobile SIMs are only intended to ensure legal/proper use of cell phone facility. He said that similar regulations are in vogue in many other countries of the world. President and CEO Telenor commended the business friendly policies of the government particularly in the telecom sector and said that his group would extend its full cooperation in checking misuse of cellular phones and correspond to government regulations in this regard.

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