Professionals from Netherlands can provide vocational and professional training to workers in Balochistan, as well as other parts of the country, according to Netherlands Ambassador to Pakistan Joost Reintjes.
Business owners, agriculturists and other imminent stakeholders from Balochistan met with the ambassador to discuss potential areas of cooperation.
Speaking to representatives of the Baluchistan Economic Forum (BEF) on Wednesday, Reintjes said, “Our country has great expertise in water management and the construction of dams and other water storage facilities.”
He urged locals to learn more about the technologies and expertise available in his country. He also said that the Netherlands’ economy depends heavily on trade, adding, “Diplomacy must be based on economics, so the wealth of the people can be increased.”
Reintjes also highlighted, “Our government has established programmes through which Pakistani companies can form joint ventures with companies from other countries, and receive partial funding for their enterprise.” He clarified that these joint ventures may be formed with companies from countries other than Netherlands.
Prince Mohiuddin Baloch urged Netherlands to focus on helping the agriculture sector of Balochistan. “It requires very little security or investments,” said Baloch, adding, “Similar cooperation from the Dutch, more than 30 years back, had yielded very promising results.”
“We have ample resources but our people lack skills and knowledge,” said Sardar Fahad Qayyum. He urged the dignitary to consider investing in public infrastructure for education and vocational trainings.
Participants also drew attention to the immense potential for economic activity and gains in the province. “Despite the current security situation, there are many companies from countries like China, Japan, United States and from European Union that are entering the province, given its strategic importance and natural reserves,” said BEF President Sardar Shoukat Popalzai.
Popalzai expressed hope that the cooperation extended by the Netherlands would help improve economic prospects of the people of the province and develop trade with the European Union.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011.