ISLAMABAD - Australian High Commissioner Tim George paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at PM’s House here Tuesday and thanked the government of Pakistan for the hospitality and support during his three years period of diplomatic assignment in Pakistan.

The high commissioner said that Pakistan and Australia have very good relations and disclosed that his government has increased the volume of development budget meant for Pakistan. The high commissioner expressed his satisfaction over the cooperation in the field of education, adding that lot of students from Pakistan have been studying in the Australian universities and in fact now Australia is the third largest country after USA and UK where a sizeable number of Pakistani students are studying. He added that there is a lot of scope for collaboration in the fields of education, agriculture, infrastructure and defence. 

The Australian high commissioner expressed satisfaction of his government over the electoral parliamentary cycle in Pakistan and assured full cooperation in the forthcoming electoral process under auspices of the UNDP.

The Prime Minister thanked the Australian high commissioner for his endeavour to strengthen relations between Australia and Pakistan during his stay in the country. The Prime Minister recalled his meeting with the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Perth during Commonwealth Summit where he had useful exchange of views with her.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep sense of gratitude for the Australian government and people for timely relief assistance during the devastating floods and also in earthquake in 2005 in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi OE also paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and said that he had very productive stay in Pakistan during which Pakistan-Japan relations got deeper with every passing day.

He particularly extended thanks of the Japanese Government and the people of his country for airlifting 77 stranded Japanese from Northern areas to Islamabad when security situation deteriorated them. The ambassador said that the Japanese companies were holding seminars in Bangkok and Singapore where he will also make presentation in order to persuade the businessmen and ambassadors to invest in Pakistan because the country offers best destination for them. It may be mentioned that thousands Japanese are doing business in the two countries.

The ambassador said that it would be his endeavour to convince them to invest in the energy sector and particularly Thar Coal Project and also in the hydal power generation. He also delivered a letter from the Japanese Prime Minister to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan and Japan have excellent relations in the fields of trade and commerce, which have grown progressively while serving interests of both the countries at the same time.

The Prime Minister particularly thanked the Japanese government for hosting Friends of Democratic Pakistan Summit aimed at extending financial and diplomatic support to Pakistan at the international level. The Prime Minister said that this year we would be celebrating 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Pakistan and Japan in which he intends to invite his Japanese counterpart to join in the celebrations.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance of high level exchanges and people to people contacts between Pakistan and Japan as these would be quite useful in strengthening the relations between the two countries on sustainable basis. 

The Prime Minister said that he would send a delegation of businessmen to Japan as well to meet their Japanese counterparts aimed at bringing more investment in Pakistan and also meet the representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industries there.

The Prime Minister appreciated the Japanese government’s assistance in the eradication of Polio in Pakistan, which indeed had made a qualitative difference to eradicate this menace which posed a threat to the health of our children and indeed to the future of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister asked the Ambassador to convey his best wishes to the leadership of Japan adding that he was looking forward the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister to Pakistan.