A delegation is expected to reach Islamabad within the next few days, to finalise the details of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Habibou Ndiaye, director of Senegal’s commerce ministry, and Shahzad Ali Malik, chairman of the Rice Export Association of Pakistan.

The memorandum is the first move towards cooperation between Pakistan and the French speaking West African country, and it is expressly seen as a step in the right direction for reciprocal trade relations. It initially states that from January 2001, Pakistan will supply nearly 50% of the rice consumed in Senegal, which in return is willing to set up mechanisms for the export of phosphate, a great natural resource in the country. Further cooperation on textiles and telecommunications is hoped for.