Ahsan for promoting economic diplomacy

Source:  Daily Times Published in Current Affairs on Thursday, January 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Professor Ahsan Iqbal here on Wednesday urged the need to promote economic diplomacy for increasing foreign direct investment in Pakistan.

Talking to recently appointed Pakistan's Permanent Representative to United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi who called on him, he said that there is a need to promote economic diplomacy for country's economic uplift. The business community, diaspora and think-tanks should be engaged by diplomatic mission in the United States to promote soft image of Pakistan as an investment destination, he said. Acknowledging terrorism is a hurdle in the way of attracting foreign investment, the minister said that government has launched a decisive military operation against the extremists, who are confined only to some remote areas.

“The day is not far when we will defeat the monster of terrorism completely from Pakistan and restore complete peace in the country,” he said. “The prime minister has taken major steps to develop counter narrative against terrorism through the National Action Plan. The new paradigm of foreign policy has increased emphasis on regional connectivity and better relations with neighboring countries, particularly with Afghanistan,” he said

Ahsan said that various initiatives have been taken under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as Gwadar can act as a hub for trade between Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Central Asia and Gulf region. The government, he said that is launching a project to annually attract 50 top talented Pakistani professionals from the diaspora to come to Pakistan for 6 months to 1 year for sharing their experiences and talent.

Commenting on the young development fellow initiative he said that initiative at Planning Commission has entered 2nd phase this year in which many foreign degree holder young fellows out of almost 11,000 candidates. These young fellows are trained with new skills and assigned the task of improving the service delivery in public sector and demonstrates that young professionals are returning something to country, he said. Dr Maleeha Lodhi is the first woman to hold this position and will replace incumbent Ambassador Masood Khan whose contract will expire in February.



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