Australian Charge D Affaires Bryce Hutchesson says Australia also looks forward to welcoming back many Pakistan students

Mahnoor Ansar

ISLAMABAD:  The Australian Charge D Affaires Bryce Hutchesson has said  on this Australia Day – when Australians celebrate their nation, its achievements and its diverse multicultural people – it is timely to reflect on the ties between Australia and Pakistan and opportunities for further advancing the relationship between our two great countries.

Our connections have continued to grow since Australia formally recognised the new state of Pakistan in 1947.  We have much in common – including sustainable development challenges, transnational security interests, Commonwealth heritage and of course love of cricket – which provides a solid foundation for moving forward.

This is underpinned by a vibrant Pakistani-origin community in Australia now exceeding 84,000 people.  With easing of travel restrictions, Australia also looks forward to welcoming back many Pakistan students to our world-class educational institutions in 2022 and beyond. These students will go on to contribute to Pakistan’s future and build links with Australia.

He said growing trade and commercial ties will support post-pandemic economic recovery in both our countries. There are many opportunities for mutual benefit, particularly in education and agriculture. Australia’s excellence in innovation, science and technology provides fertile opportunities for business-to-business collaboration.

Australia has long supported Pakistan’s efforts to build prosperity and inclusive development, focusing particularly on water resource management, rural productivity and gender equality.  We also continue to stand with Pakistan in the face of COVID, strengthening Pakistan’s disease detection capabilities and providing humanitarian assistance.

Cricket is a shared passion for both our countries. We look forward to welcoming the Australian men’s team to Pakistan next month for the first tour in 24 years. The team is sure to receive a warm welcome, for which Pakistanis are renowned, he concluded.