Minister calls for improving role of foreign trade offices

Move will provide job opportunities to graduates abroad

Our Correspondent October 19, 2018
Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht. PHOTO: Hashim Jawan Bakht

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that there is a dire need to improve the role of Pakistani commercial consulates across the globe in order to strengthen government-to-government relations and provide overseas employment opportunities to graduates.

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“This exercise is necessary to build a demand-driven strategy and for this overseas offices should be very potent as we need to exchange our views and plans for the next three to five years for better placement of our graduates,” Bakht said at a conference titled “Employment Opportunities for Pakistanis in the Gulf”, organised by the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) on Thursday.

He emphasised that the use of technology was playing an important role in changing economies; “we, as a nation, should also utilise this tool efficiently.” “The programmes designed by the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority are not delivering desired results,” he said, adding “we need to gauge the success of skills development through the number of people getting jobs.”

“And not providing the right placement means we are producing graduates who do not have any links with local industries and international markets.”

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Bakht pointed out that the country was now going through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) phase under which Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were being established. A labour policy was in the offing which would also focus on the SEZs.

Al Futtaim Group Director Human Resource and Retail Majid Ahsan Syed said Pakistani talent was not available in many sectors in Gulf countries. “There are still opportunities available in finance and accounting and other areas where Pakistanis may get jobs in hotel management and e-commerce,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2018.

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