SINGAPORE - There is great potential for Singapore and Pakistan to work together, particularly in trade, and entrepreneurs from both sides should continue to create opportunities to collaborate.
Pakistan places great importance on its relations with Singapore bilaterally, as well as in the context of Asean, said its Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday, as he made the case for his country’s emerging market.
Speaking to The Straits Times in an exclusive written interview before his visit to Singapore, he noted how Pakistan was among the first countries to recognise the Republic soon after independence, and how its expatriate community has contributed to Singapore’s development in its early years.
He pointed out how the two nations have exchanged high-level visits in the past, including then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s visits to Pakistan in 1988 and 1992, and his late mother Benazir Bhutto’s visit to Singapore in 1995 as then Prime Minister of Pakistan.
“Over time, we lost the momentum in our bilateral relations,” said Mr Bhutto Zardari, adding that he was coming to Singapore “to revive that momentum and intensify our bilateral exchanges. Pakistan is keen to strengthen this relationship in all dimensions”.
During his visit here from Thursday to Saturday, he will meet President Halimah Yacob and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, discussing how the two countries can promote private-sector collaboration.
There is a need for the world to have a fresh look at Pakistan that is away from its stereotypical image, he added.
In the last few decades, the country has gone through hard times, including financial crises and political turbulence. Mr Bhutto Zardari’s mother was assassinated at an election campaign rally in 2007. His grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – also a former foreign ...