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Official Name - Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Land Area – 769,095sq km
Population – 188.9 million (EIU estimate 2011)
Capital City - Islamabad -
Religion Muslim 97% (Sunni 77%, 20% Shi'a, 2.6% Ahmadi), Others 3% (largely Christian, Hindu and Sikh)
Language - Urdu (national) English (official)
Currency - Pakistan rupee (PRs)
Exchange rate - PRs85.7 : US$1 (2010 end-period, EIU)
Political system – federal parliamentary system
National government - Coalition government led by the Pakistan People’s party (PPP)
Last election – parliamentary elections in April 2008, presidential elections in September 2008
Next election due - September 2013 (Presidential), 2013 (Lower House)
Head of State - President HE Mr Asif Ali Zardari (elected September 2008)
Head of Government – Prime Minister Raja Ashraf
Key Ministers -
Makhdoom Amin Fahim - Commerce
Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar – Defence
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh – Finance
Hina Rabbani Khar – Foreign Affairs
Nominal GDP US$ 176.8 billion (Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) actual 2010)
Nominal GDP per capita US$2,514 (EIU actual 2010)
Real GDP Growth 2.4% (EIU actual 2011)
Exports US$21.4 billion (EIU actual 2010)
Imports US$-32.8 billion (EIU actual 2010)
Current account US$ -1.4 billion (EIU actual 2010)
Consumer Inflation 12.9% (year on year 2010)
NZ Exports (FOB) NZ$80.0 million (year ending April 2012)
Main exports Dairy Products - NZ$27.1 million, Aircraft parts – NZ$8.1 million, Iron and steel – NZ$6.5 million, Animal fats – NZ$6.4 million, Hides and skins – NZ$5.2 million, Wool – NZ$4.6 million, Machinery – NZ$3.4 million, Processed cocoa – NZ$3.4 million, Chocolate – NZ$3.0 million, Wool – NZ$2.3 million.
NZ Imports (CIF) NZ$57.0 million (year ending April 2012)
Main imports Linen (bathroom and kitchen) – 28.9 million Cereals – NZ$5.8 million Clothing accessories – NZ$5.0 million Manmade filaments – NZ$3.1 million Woollen accessories – NZ$2.4 million Leather products – NZ$1.3 million Sporting equipment – NZ$1.3 million Sugar – NZ$0.8 million
New Zealand has longstanding, but modest, relations with Pakistan based around shared membership in the Commonwealth and other international groupings.top of page
Pakistan was formed by the partition, along religious lines, of the former British India in 1947. Pakistan is diverse country with a large number of different languages and ethnic groups. Bangladesh was part of Pakistan until it became independent in 1971 following a short conflict. Floods devastated Pakistan in 2010, displacing around 17 million people, many from rural areas. Floods in 2011 in the southern parts of Pakistan caused considerable damage, affecting approximately 5.4 million people and displacing an additional 1.8 million people.
Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary federal system with Islam as the state religion. Since independence, Pakistan's political system has fluctuated between periods of civilian and military rule. Civilian government returned with the election of President Asif Zardari in 2008. The Pakistan People's Party leads a broad coalition government under the leadership of Prime Minister Raja Ashraf.
Agriculture remains the key sector of the economy and Pakistan is a significant exporter of cereals, linen and cotton. The Pakistan government places priority on increasing Pakistan's agricultural productivity. Textile manufacturing, especially linen products and floor coverings, is an important industry in many parts of Pakistan. Political instability and natural disasters, such as the 2010 and 2011 floods, have led to stagnation and food price inflation, and greater food insecurity. The Pakistan economy, especially the manufacturing industry, requires greater investment in infrastructure.top of page
New Zealand's relations with Pakistan can be described as warm but modest. We are not represented on the ground in Islamabad and do not have a bilateral aid programme. Pakistan opened its High Commission in Wellington in 2007. Bilateral trade is limited to NZ$137 million (YE April 2012) and has exhibited only moderate growth over the last decade. The majority of New Zealand's exports consist of dairy and other animal products, while imports are mainly textiles such as linen and cereals.
Most of New Zealand's interactions with Pakistan have been through multilateral groupings. Both countries are longstanding members of the Commonwealth and New Zealand was party to the Commonwealth Heads of Government decision to re-admit Pakistan following the resumption of civilian rule in 2008. New Zealand also engages Pakistan in the United Nations and World Trade Organisation.
Agriculture and education have been identified as areas of potential growth in the trade relationship. New Zealanders have been involved in the development of Pakistan's dairy industry, which the Pakistan government has identified as an area requiring greater investment. Pakistan government scholarship students attend New Zealand universities in small numbers and are a useful addition to the bilateral relationship. The Pakistan – New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and Professionals, based in New Zealand, plays a role in facilitating commercial exchanges between the two countries. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise publishes information on doing business in Pakistan.
New Zealand does not have dedicated bilateral aid programme with Pakistan, although funds have been committed on case-by-case basis to the United Nations and partner non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in Pakistan:
Small amounts of funding are available through a Head of Mission Fund administered by MFAT; in the past this has provided funding for water pumps in remote villages, medical equipment, micro-credit funding, and assistance to some schools. There are opportunities for New Zealand non-governmental organisations to apply for funding from New Zealand’s Aid Programme’s Sustainable Development Fund, which emphasises economic development initiatives.top of page
New Zealand and Pakistan have strong sporting ties in cricket and regularly play each other in international competition. The Pakistan national men's team toured New Zealand over the 2010-11 summer. There is an active Pakistani community of over 2,000 (2006 census) in New Zealand. Ashraf Choudhary became the first Pakistan-born MP to serve in the New Zealand Parliament when he assumed office in 2002.
The Safetravel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Pakistan [external link].
Enquiries may be directed to Consular Division at the following numbers: Ph: +64 4 439 8000; Fax: +64 4 439 8532.top of page