Gilani hopeful for support in EU on trade issues ISLAMABAD, Mar 24 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani expressed the hope that the Czech Government would continue to support Pakistanï¿½s case in the EU for institutionalization of Pakistan-EU Summit process, enhanced market access through GSP Plus facilities and for initiation of negotiations on FTA between Pakistan and the EU. The Prime Minister was talking to Martin Bartak, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, who along with his delegation called on him this afternoon. He appreciated Czech Republicï¿½s important lead role as the rotating Chair of European Union in 2009, for arranging the first Pakistan-EU Summit. The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction on signing of the MoU between the two countries on Defence Cooperation and hoped that it will open new vistas of cooperation in defence production, joint ventures in Defence and in training fields. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan could be interested in L-159 Trainer Jets being produced in the Czech Republic with the US collaboration and in upgradation of MI-17 helicopters at the Czech defence facilities. The Prime Minister said it was gratifying to note that the bilateral trade between the two countries had tripled in three yearsï¿½ period. That trend was reflective of the fact that a vast untapped potential still existed for further trade expansion. He called for concerted measures by both the sides for focusing on this area. He also identified power generation, particularly the solar and hydel power, mining, oil and gas exploration, education and science and technology sectors for future collaboration between the two countries. Recalling his meetings with the former Czech Deputy Prime Minister in Beijing in 2008 and Czech President in Davos in January 2009, the Prime Minister proposed regular high level visits between the two countries including exchanges of parliamentary delegations for strengthening of the bilateral ties and imparting new impetus for cooperation in diversified areas. The Czech Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Defence underlined the importance his country attaches to fostering ever stronger ties with Pakistan and termed Pakistanï¿½s role as pivotal in the war against terror as well as in restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. He reiterated the view held by his President at the First Pakistan-EU Summit that trade was more important than aid for development of Czech Republic itself and assured the Prime Minister of his countryï¿½s consistent support in the EU for greater market access to Pakistani products. The Czech Deputy Premier and Defence Minister conveyed the willingness of his Government to consider joint ventures and increased business in defence production through sale of equipment including the L-159 Trainer Jets. He invited the Pakistani defence delegation as well as technical experts to visit Prague to have a first-hand experience of the Czech defence production and defence equipment overhaul facilities to take forward the proposals of collaboration in these fields in the future. He also agreed with the Prime Minister on the need for focusing on expansion of trade, and cooperation in economic, science & technology and research training by stating that Czech side was ready to assist Pakistan in these areas to the extent possible. The visit of experts in various fields to Prague could explore opportunities for expanding trade and economic cooperation.