Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Blind Leading the Blind:

Business Recorder
May 17, 2009 Sunday
Pakistan and Cuba are to sign an agreement for the establishment of a Joint Economic Commission (JEC), official sources told Business Recorder here on Saturday. They said that Federal Cabinet in its decision on April 23, 2008 had allowed the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to start negotiations on the draft agreement that would establish the JEC between the two countries.
Accordingly, the draft agreement was negotiated through diplomatic channels between Pakistan and Cuba. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Law and Justice proposed major changes in the first version of the agreement, which have been incorporated in the final version. Sources said that the Ministry of Industries and Production had proposed inclusion of specific/priority areas like co-operation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector in the agreement.
The EAD was of the view that since the JEC agreement would be an umbrella agreement for economic co-operation, it should cover the entire gamut of economic co-operation and specific areas/agenda may be decided at the time of holding of the JEC meeting. As such, it is not necessary to mention each and every sector in the main agreement.
Under the above agreement, co-operation will be undertaken in accordance with the national laws of both contracting parties pursuant to general principle of international law and will include;
(a) the undertaking of feasibility studies to identify viable investment projects;
(b) incorporation of international economic associations;
(c) the granting of scholarships for specialised studies, professional development, technical education and vocational training;
(d) the provision or exchange of specialists and other professionals to provide services for defined projects and programmes on mutually agreed terms and conditions by the parties;
(e) the provision or exchange of the required equipment and appliances for the implementation of defined programs and projects of technical co-operation; and;
(f) any other co-operation modality that is convenient and of mutual interest to the parties. Sources said the final draft of the proposed agreement had been submitted to the Federal Cabinet in its meeting on May 6, 2009, which was approved as recommended by the EAD.

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