ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Economic Affairs has decided to prioritise countries for holding Joint Commissions (JCs), Joint Economic Commissions (JECs) and Joint Ministerial Commissions (JMCs) with respect to investment, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

On May 3, 2023, an Inter-ministerial meeting was held to mutually discuss the categorisation of various joints commissions in Ministry of Economic Affairs. The ministry’s representative explained that the main purpose was to promote foreign investment meeting given the current economic condition of the country.

The meeting was informed that the Ministry of Economic Affairs is considering formulating a priority list of countries with which Pakistan has Joint Commissions/Joint Economic Commissions/Joint Ministerial Commissions as they hold greater importance for Pakistan.

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Furthermore, the following parameters were selected for prioritisation of countries: (i) banking sector; (ii) trade with focus on exports with future potential; (iii) workers’ remittances and Pakistani diaspora; (iv) foreign economic assistance; (v) Look Africa Policy; (vi) geo strategic consideration; (v) agriculture trade;(vi) development of communication channels; and (vii) trade in energy sector.

The stakeholder ministries were requested to categorise the countries on the format circulated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on April 14, 2023.

Representative of Ministry of Finance (MoF) noted that it would prefer to scrutinise the importance of various JMCs region wise instead of treating each JMC individually.

MoF further emphasised that some promising partners such as Oman and Jordan from the Middle Eastern region were not as active, however, they are important partners in term of financial potential; and further noted that the matter of prioritisation is currently in the process of consideration in the ministry and it will respond soon.

Ministry of Communications (MoC) also endorsed the point of view presented by Ministry of Finance and highlighted that their major interest in terms of cooperation potential pertained to Geostrategic Regional connectivity.

MoC further highlighted that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) is an important stakeholder in terms of global connectivity and logistics, hence, MoMA may be included in the list of stakeholders. Board of Investment (BoI) requested to add “Investment Cooperation” as a separate indicator so that BoI may provide its response.

After detailed discussions, the meeting took the following decisions: (i) all the stakeholder ministries are instructed to provide their written response on the given format within a week and if there are any comments related to their prioritisation or parameters, those may be reflected in a separate column; (ii) JS (EC) directed inclusion of investment opportunities in the list of parameters for the prioritization, as per request of Bol. Moreover, MoMA may also be taken on board and seek comments on prioritisation; and (iii) Ministries were requested to give suggestions specifically on the “Look Africa Policy” and come up with their respective comments in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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