SIU Talks | Pakistan-France Relations: An Overview and Future Prospects
September 13, 2021
All Knowledge Areas
On Thursday, July 17th, the acting Ambassador of Pakistan in France, Mr. Muhammad Amjad Aziz Qazi, connected with former Councillor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs in Islamabad at the French Embassy in Pakistan between 2016 and 2020, Mr. André de Bussy, in order to discuss the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
At SIU, we are intricately interwoven in the international landscape and are continuously involved in day-to-day occurrences both in terms of business news and the socioeconomic reality that surrounds us and how it affects our lives. We have therefore decided to launch SIU Talks. Led by renowned professionals in various sectors and by specialists in international geopolitics, these talks explore in-depth topics and provide further insight into different areas.
During the SIU Pakistan-France Relations Talk, Qazi and de Bussy explored the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and France that were first established in 1947. In July of 1951, both countries agreed to open embassy services in each country and therefore France was one of the first non-Muslim states to recognize Pakistan.
During the talk, Qazi discusses four main aspects of the links between the two countries, focusing on politics, economy, defense and culture. He begins by highlighting the political relations between Pakistan and France, discussing the liaison between the Pakistani embassy in Paris and the French embassy in Islamabad in connection with both governments.
He then introduces the defense relationship between the two countries, stating that the Pakistani Air Force has a large number of French aircraft and holds many trainings and visits to France.
The third important aspect lies in trade, economy and investment between the two countries. The major French exports to Pakistan include pharmaceuticals, electrical components and aircraft parts. Pakistani exports to France include textiles, clothing, rice, leather and some fruits and vegetables. Both countries have upgraded their economic relationship recently and continue to grow in trade and investment.
During the talk Qazi also highlights the educational links between both countries, revealing that a French agency responsible for recruiting has been working with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for the last few years and establishes regular exchanges and visits. 800 Pakistani students are currently studying in French universities.
He states that both countries would like to focus further on the environment and climate change and also compares the cultural and geographical similarities between the two countries, highlighting Pakistani cuisine presence in Paris as well as the influence of music and festivals in France.
Later on in the talk, de Bussy connects to share his experience in Islamabad. He served as the Councillor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs in Islamabad at the French Embassy in Pakistan between 2016 and 2020. He once again highlights the cultural exchanges between Pakistan and Paris, mentioning again the 800 Pakistani students studying in Paris. He states that there are various languages spoken in Pakistan and that everyone speaks at least three to four languages, allowing Pakistanis to easily work and live in Paris as they easily pick up the language.
Both Qazi and de Bussy recognize the strong ties between Pakistan and France which they reveal throughout the talk based on their own personal experiences in both countries, highlighting the future prospects for a continued strong relationship between the two countries.
Watch the full SIU Pakistan-France Relations Talk video here