ASEAN and Pakistan convened the seventh ASEAN-Pakistan Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AP-JSCC) meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat. Both sides agreed to reinvigorate their partnership by further substantiating it with mutually beneficial cooperation activities resulting in tangible outcomes.
The meeting reviewed the progress of the implementation of ASEAN-Pakistan Sectoral Dialogue Partnership: Practical Cooperation Areas (2019-2021) which was extended to 2023. Of the activities that have been conducted, the meeting noted the successful implementation of the ASEAN-Pakistan Business Conference in August 2023 during which 400 business-to-business meetings were arranged and resulted in the signing of tangible business deals between companies and MSMEs in ASEAN and Pakistan.
The meeting deliberated on several areas of future cooperation across the three pillars of ASEAN Community. On the political sphere, the meeting looked forward to intensifying collaboration on countering terrorism, violent extremism, radicalisation and transnational crimes.
On the economic front, the meeting looked forward to intensifying cooperation in trade and investment, digital economy, public-private and business-to-business networking and linkages, food security, tourism, transport, science and technology, information and communication technology, and customs, among others.
On the socio-cultural arena, the meeting sought to explore cooperation in disaster management, climate change, women empowerment, education, human resource development, culture, broadcasting, public health, climate-change and people-to-people exchanges. In addition, the meeting welcomedpotential cooperation and support in connectivity, sustainable development and narrowing development gap and Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).
Both sides also agreed to develop the ASEAN-Pakistan Practical Cooperation Areas for the period 2024-2028, which will serve as a framework and practical guide in achieving shared goals and corresponding priorities in the coming years.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh and Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Ameer Khurram Rathore. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN or their representatives and their respective delegations attended along with a representative from Timor-Leste as observer.