Punjab, California sign sister-province accord.

WASHINGTON -- The US state of California and Punjab have signed a sister-province agreement to promote trade, educational and cultural relations.

Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California State Assembly, and Wasif Khurshid, chairman of the Punjab Planning and Development Board, signed the agreement in Sacramento, California on Monday. Islamabad's Ambassador to the US Masood Khan and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Lt Governor Eleni Kounalakis, members of the California State Assembly, US officials and representatives of the Pakistani-American community also attended the event.

The sister-province agreement would 'promote mutual trade and commerce and increase the potential for educational, environmental and cultural relations between Punjab and California', said an official statement issued later.

'This would also provide an opportunity to exploit the untapped economic potential and promote people-to-people contacts,' it added.

The statement also noted that California was among the top four economies of the world, while Punjab had a vibrant middle class and their cooperation would 'create the required synergies for nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship and a win-win partnership'.

The Pakistani...

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