Minister highlights investment opportunities at ASEM

Fehmida Mirza says ‘our doors’ are open for trade, employment, transfer of technology, human resource development

​ Our Correspondent December 19, 2019
Fehmida Mirza says ‘our doors’ are open for trade, employment, transfer of technology, human resource development. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza has urged the leaders of Asian and European countries to take advantage of Pakistan’s vast investment opportunities, saying “our doors are open for trade, employment, transfer of technology and human resource development”.

“Today, Pakistan is a country of over 200 million resilient people and offers opportunities of investment and a large market endowed with a rich array of resources,” said the federal minister while speaking at the 14th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of foreign ministers held in Madrid from December 15 to 16.

The event under the theme, ‘Asia and Europe -Together for Effective Multilateralism’, was attended by 51 ASEM member states, the European Union (EU) and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The foreign ministers’ meeting was preceded by Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on December 13-14, 2019, in Madrid.

At the plenary and retreat sessions of the meeting, Dr Mirza, in her remarks, underscored Pakistan's foreign policy position on various regional and global issues.

“Pakistan has stepped into a new era which heralds a corruption-free governance, socio-economic development, peaceful neighbourhood promotion and upholding the rule of law,” said the federal minister, who headed the Pakistani delegation.

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She highlighted that the key pillar of Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision was to encourage regional integration and connectivity.
“Pakistan provides vital connectivity between Middle East, China, Central Asia and South Asia,” said Mirza.

“The most promising manifestation of this vision is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a concept which embraces a package of multiple infrastructure and development projects that would act as a catalyst for economic development of Pakistan as well as create a conducive environment for foreign direct investment.”

In her interventions, Dr Mirza strongly highlighted the systematic violations in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian forces where “eight million people are virtually locked up for last more than four months”, stressing the negative impact the continued repression could have on regional peace and connectivity.

She reiterated Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, and underlined the significance of Kartarpur Corridor for regional peace and interfaith harmony as well as enhanced focus on attracting Buddhist religious tourism to the Gandhara heritage.

She also assured the ASEM members of Pakistan’s support in dealing with protectionism, unilateralism, xenophobia and rising Islamophobia.

During the meeting, she interacted with several European and Asian ministers participating in the ASEM, including EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Joseph Borrell, Spanish Foreign Minister Margarita Robles, foreign ministers of China, Singapore, Cambodia etc.

The ASEM provides an opportune platform to discuss common political and security issues of regional and global significance with a view to promote inter-regional harmony and connectivity.

The ASEM, established in 1996, is a bi-regional, informal dialogue between Asia and Europe which addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.


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