ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said as economic challenges could not be tackled through “business as usual” approach, a total coordinated and team-work effort by various ministries and departments was required to ensure ease of doing business, attract foreign investment and boost exports in the country.
Addressing the concluding session of a two-day Envoys Conference on Economic Diplomacy here at the Foreign Office, he said he wanted the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, commerce, interior, Board of Investment and Pakistani ambassadors abroad to work as a team to achieve the targets.
The prime minister urged the country’s top diplomats posted abroad and present in the conference to enhance their dealing and interaction with the Pakistani expatriates, entrepreneurs and workers.
He described the Pakistanis expatriate as “an unutilized asset” for the country and told the envoy, “Be compassionate with them and help them. They go abroad to earn their livelihoods while leaving their families behind. They are very special people. This country is moving ahead due to their hard work.”
He recalled that once he met a Pakistani at Istanbul airport who had went there to receive the dead-body of his brother who died of freezing temperature while trying to enter Europe from Turkey through sea route.
“Our Pakistani expatriates go abroad by facing many hardships. They are learning various skills there and you (envoys) should help them,” he remarked.
The prime minister advised the envoys to focus on export augmentation through regular contact with the Board of Investment and explore new trade avenues and markets particularly in Africa and Latin America which were competitive and provided ample opportunities of trade for Pakistan.
He also called upon the ambassadors and high commissioners to help check money laundering from Pakistan.
He cited a recent JIT report on fake bank accounts and said how money was stolen and laundered abroad.
He, in this respect, also referred to a US State Department report which estimated an annual US$10 billion of money laundering from Pakistan, adding, the government was taking steps to check this menace, but they (envoys) would also have to help the government.