(February 10, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said effective economic diplomacy is needed for political and economic independence. Economic security is imperative for national security while only self-reliant countries are respected in the global community of nations, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that economic diplomacy make the country rich and influential while its absence compels any country to follow dictation in its political, economic and foreign policies.
The former minister noted that government and the private sector must join hands for successful economic diplomacy and the business associations can play a leading role in this regard.
He noted that trade agreements, deals aimed at abolishing double taxation, mega projects, financial services, foreign investment etc. are all linked to economic diplomacy.
The business leader said that trade officials should be posted on merit in foreign mission and their promotion must be linked to the results so that they promote national interests which also include promotion of tourism and introducing new technologies in Pakistan.
He said that construction of CPEC and opposition by various countries are both forms are economic diplomacy for which different economic tools are being used.
Economic diplomacy is of no use unless there is political and economic stability in the country and the government enjoys confidence of the investors which is a test for the current administration, he said.
He noted that annexation of held Kashmir should be a wakeup call for us as a lot of close friends refused to help us in the dispute. Once Pakistan’s exports were more than total exports of many countries now knows as Asia Tigers but now Bangladesh is earning almost double amount of foreign exchange as compared to Pakistan while we are also facing double-edged sword of FATF.