ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Wednesday, instructed Pakistan’s envoys posted in European countries and the United Kingdom to focus on cultivating and broadening mutually-beneficial trade and economic partnerships with their host countries aimed at boosting bilateral trade promotion, financial inflows, and investments.
As part of government’s efforts to promote “economic diplomacy”, Qureshi chaired a virtual meeting on economic diplomacy with participation from Pakistan’s envoys to Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, the Foreign Office said.
While underscoring the growing significance of geo-economics in international politics, the foreign minister stated that economic diplomacy had assumed centre stage in modern diplomatic practice.
Highlighting the valuable role played by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its missions abroad in safeguarding Pakistan’s economic interests, he stated that the ministry and the missions were pivotal to the successful implementation of the government’s initiatives/programmes such as the Prime Minister’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries, the Economic Outreach Initiative (EOI), and the Roshan Digital Account Initiative.
Qureshi asked envoys to cultivate and broaden mutually-beneficial trade and economic partnerships with Europe, focusing on trade promotion, financial inflows, investments, remittances, tourism, and technology transfer.
He further emphasised the need to constructively engage with parliamentarians in Europe with a view to maximising avenues of economic outreach and collaboration.
Qureshi also instructed the envoys to work on removing bottlenecks that hinder expansion of economic collaboration with the host countries and identifying new sectors for promotion of economic cooperation with Europe.
In order to expand Pakistan’s economic outreach to Europe and to maximise trade gains under the GSP Plus Scheme, the foreign minister emphasised the need for diversification of exports.
While expressing satisfaction with increased inflow of remittances/ investment, he asked the envoys to showcase the investment potential of the country.
Highlighting the government’s “robust” reform measures for improvement of business climate in Pakistan, he shared that Pakistan’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business had significantly improved.
Pakistan had secured 6th place among the world’s top 10 business climate improvers, he added.
During the meeting, the envoys apprised the foreign minister about their respective mission’s activities in the economic and commercial domains.
They also shared their action plans to deepen Pakistan’s economic footprint in Europe.
Qureshi has consistently stressed on promotion of economic diplomacy and increased economic cooperation with partner countries.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021