Advisor to the PM on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that Pakistan is upgrading the rail and road infrastructure links to enhance regional connectivity particularly with China, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics. The advisor said this during a meeting with Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Republic of Hungary, who called on him on Friday along with an 8-member delegation. During the meeting matters pertaining to bilateral trade and investment came under discussion. The advisor highlighted the cordial relations between Pakistan and Hungary and thanked the government and people of Hungary for its support in the European Union for grant of GSP+ status to Pakistan. He appreciated the Hungarian investment in the oil and gas sector and indicated opportunities for agro and food processing, water conservation, information technology, engineering and manufacturing sector for investment. The advisor also emphasised the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a flagship infrastructure project which aims at promoting regional connectivity through Gwadar Port. It was also highlighted that Pakistan intends to develop Gwadar Port as a trade and transit hub for the region. The investment incentives of nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be developed alongside CPEC are open to all trading partners for investment and Pakistan would welcome joint ventures. The Hungarian side showed interest in bilateral cooperation in railways, cyber security, agro & food processing, dairy & livestock and fisheries sectors. The Hungarian foreign minister conveyed that the EXIM Bank of Hungary has a preferential credit line of US$ 84 million to promote business to business cooperation between Pakistani and Hungarian companies. He further indicated the plan of initiating a direct flight by the Hungarian airlines between Pakistan and Hungary. The minister indicated the necessity of concluding an agreement on the mutual protection of bilateral investment and expressed the hope that this would encourage many Hungarian companies to invest in Pakistan. The chairman Board of Investment (BoI) highlighted the friendly investment regime and compared it with the countries in the region. He further conveyed the incentives the government of Pakistan is providing to the foreign investors, particularly in Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Both sides reiterated the commitment of continuous engagement to further enhance economic cooperation, bilateral trade and investment. Meanwhile, Pakistan and Hungary have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including agriculture, food, environment, water resources, engineering, vocational training and urban planning. The understanding was reached at a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on Friday. Qureshi said the incumbent PTI government has been focusing on geo-economic priorities. He said Pakistan, with a population of 220 million, is an emerging market that offers enormous investment opportunities. He said the under-construction nine Economic Zones under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor offer ample investment opportunities. The minister said the government’s initiative of E-visa for the foreign investors has yielded encouraging results. He said several lucrative incentives are being provided to investors, including tax exemption. The foreign minister of Hungary lauded Pakistan’s efforts for peace in the region and hinted at carrying out joint efforts to further strengthen bilateral trade, economic and political relations.