Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Pakistan helps set up Asia Pacific space cooperation body

Daily Times
* Multi-purpose satellite expected to launch in 2005

BEIJING: Pakistan has enhanced its cooperation with the regional countries in the recent years to develop space technology.

Pakistan, China, Thailand, South Korea, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Iran launched a programme in 1994 to develop a multi-mission small satellite.

Chinese sources said the satellite, which is expected to be launched in 2005, will be used to observe the earth and for telecommunications.

Pakistan, China and Thailand began multilateral cooperation in 1992 in space technology and applications in the Asia-Pacific region, and a substantial breakthrough has been made in the past decade to set up the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (APSCO).

Representatives from 14 nations and a United Nations organisation gathered in Beijing recently to discuss the formation of the APSCO. Among those who attended the second meeting of the Drafting Group on the APSCO Convention were representatives from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Korea, Iran, Malaysia, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Chile and the UN Economic and Social Council.

Brazil and some countries outside the Asia-Pacific Region came as observers, and it was agreed that the proposed APSCO would be based in Beijing. Addressing a ceremony, China National Space Administration Director Luan Enjie said the Chinese government would support APSO’s establishment.

“The Chinese government will continue strengthening its space exchange and cooperation with other countries under the principle of equality and mutual benefit,” Mr Enjie said. “We are willing to join hands with all nations to make due contribution to the peaceful exploration and uses of space resources for the progress and common development of mankind.” —APP

[----Kindling the flame of Science in Pakistan----]

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