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KARACHI: Discussing the impacts of the country’s dwindling economy, former foreign secretary Ambassador (retd) Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said Pakistan’s foreign policy has left with very few choices due to its financial instability.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Pakistan’s Economic Crises & Foreign Policy Challenges”, organized by Pakistan Council on Foreign Relations (PCFR) at a local hotel on Saturday.

Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr Shamshad Akhtar was another guest who spoke on the topic.

“Foreign policy choices are shrunk due to the weak economy,” Chaudhry said, adding Pakistan needs a paradigm shift in its approach and policies.

Climate Change - floods, heat waves, food insecurity and water insecurity are the other global factors impacting foreign choices. He said the country must adopt a geo-economics approach - the use of geography and economic resources to achieve political goals.

He said Pakistan needs to portray its image as a peaceful and safe nation in order to attract tourism in the country. “Adventure and religious tourism should be promoted as Pakistan has the world’s highest mountains and holy places of different religions,” he added.

He said a business-friendly environment has to be created in order to attract investments in the country besides ease of doing business initiatives should also be introduced.

Pakistan is importing more than exporting which has created trade imbalance, he said, suggesting that export-oriented industries should be encouraged and promoted to minimize trade deficit.

He said vocational training programs for youth should be the priority of the government to increase remittances as unskilled labour working outside Pakistan would not be able to maintain their jobs in future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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