Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that a good foreign policy can help Pakistan to cope with economic challenges and the Foreign Office is keeping a strong focus on resolving critical issues like FATF and GSP Plus status for Pakistan.
Speaking as chief guest before a gathering of foreign dignitaries and businessmen including 41 diplomats from different countries at the annual dinner of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Bilawal said that he had conveyed to the world that “Pakistan wants trade, not aid”.
“I have visited China, the US and other countries, talked to the representatives of Central Asian countries and received a positive response from all corners,” he said. He affirmed that economic diplomacy was a must for economic stability and commended the role of FO in that regard.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to provide all possible assistance for the promotion of trade and export-led growth as this is in line with our economic diplomacy goals driven by focus on geo-economics,” he assured businessmen.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir highlighted Pakistan’s export potential and available opportunities in various sectors. He apprised the gathering that it was 100th anniversary of the LCCI and he was honoured to be the 100th president.
He said Pakistan as a nation had made tremendous sacrifices in the war against terrorism and played a key role in the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and the development of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Now, it is time that diplomats play a vital role in bringing foreign direct investment to the IT sector in Pakistan for setting up new technology zones,” said Kabir. He urged them to initiate special capacity building programmes and employ Pakistan’s IT graduates and engineers in their respective tech industries.
He sought facilitation for joint ventures in different sectors like pharmaceutical, processed food (especially halal food), tourism, renewable energy and manufacturing of solar panels, electric vehicles and mobile devices.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2022.
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