ASEAN and Pakistan have agreed to renew their partnership, with the goal of enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation. It is anticipated that their combined efforts will yield tangible results for both parties.

The consensus was reached during the seventh meeting of the ASEAN-Pakistan Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AP-JSCC), convened by ASEAN and Pakistan on September 18 in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, the headquarters of the ASEAN secretariat.

“Both parties agreed to revitalise their partnership by strengthening it through mutually beneficial cooperation activities,” said a secretariat press release.

The meeting assessed the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN-Pakistan sectoral dialogue partnership, which encompassed areas of practical cooperation from 2019 to 2021, and was extended until 2023.

The meeting was co-chaired by Satvinder Singh, ASEAN deputy secretary-general for the ASEAN Economic Community, and Ameer Khurram Rathore, secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In attendance were members and representatives of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, along with their respective delegations. A representative of Timor-Leste participated as an observer.

The meeting covered future cooperation across ASEAN’s three pillars.

In politics, they pledge to collaborate against terrorism, extremism, radicalisation and transnational crime.

Economically, they aim to deepen ties in trade, digital tech, partnerships, networking, food security, tourism, transport, science, technology, information and communication technology (ICT), and customs.

In the socio-cultural realm, they aim to cooperate on disaster management, climate change, women’s empowerment, education, human resource development, culture, broadcasting, public health, climate issues and people-to-people exchanges.

“The meeting welcomed potential cooperation and support in the areas of connectivity, sustainable development, narrowing development gaps, and initiatives aimed at ASEAN integration,” said the press release.

“Both sides also agreed to develop the ASEAN-Pakistan practical cooperation areas for the period 2024-28, which will serve as a framework and practical guide to achieving shared goals and corresponding priorities in the coming years,” it added.

The release also highlighted the successful execution of the ASEAN-Pakistan business conference, which took place in August.

During the event, 400 business-to-business meetings took place, leading to the signing of solid business agreements between companies and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in both ASEAN and Pakistan, it added.