Global geopolitical changes have made the role of Pakistan extremely important and as the head of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), the country has a chance to work as a driving force for peace, progress, stability, poverty alleviation, economic and social development in South Asia.
These views were expressed by Saarc Chamber President Iftikhar Ali Malik during a visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday.
Malik said Pakistan needed to strengthen regional trade and economic cooperation among Saarc nations.
"This is the right time to expand joint ventures with Saarc countries in all sectors of the economy. This is the era of information technology, therefore, we have to develop IT connections with regional countries."
The Saarc Chamber president stated that there was a dire need to focus on agro-based technical training as Pakistan lagged behind in that area as compared to other countries.
"We have similar climatic conditions, same kind of land and same resources," he said, adding that Pakistan would have to focus on technical training and research in the agriculture sector to come on a par with regional countries like China and India.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh emphasised that since 1985, the Saarc Chamber had been playing its role in bringing all the member countries closer to each other.
"Special focus should be given to developing close liaison among Saarc partners because as long as there is mistrust among regional partners, there will be no possibility of regional cooperation to thrive."
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2020.