Dawood calls for closer economic ties with Africa

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Terming Africa a promising continent and land of opportunities, Advisor to the PM on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razak Dawood has called for closer economic ties with Africa to harness mutual benefits in trading activities with Pakistan.

The advisor said this while addressing the three-day Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference that concluded on Thursday, according to a statement.

Dawood said, “Until now, Africa has been a distant frontier for Pakistan, economically, with the trade volume not very high. It has hovered around only three billion dollars, but the good news is, ever since we created the ‘Look Africa Policy’, our trade is increasing. Exports to Africa in the first four months have increased by 21 percent.”

He said that soon after coming into power, Prime Minister Imran Khan took the initiative and asked the Ministry of Commerce to look at regional connectivity and, in particular, look at Africa. “As a result of that, we developed a ‘Look Africa Policy’ and we analysed all the 54 countries of the continent and our study showed a promising continent and a land of opportunity.”

He maintained, “Our vision is to get closer and set a target of doubling our exports in the next five years; we are looking at regional connectivity. We are not only looking at Africa.

We are equally looking at Asia as well. We were trying to get positive results after the first conference in Kenya, but due to the pandemic, we could not come to this country until this time and we will be coming back to Nigeria next year.”

He added that no cooperation was possible without the business men and women from Africa and Pakistan, urging governments of both groups to facilitate robust collaboration.

Speaking earlier, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Nigeria Muhammad Azam said that with global priorities moving away from geopolitics to geo-economies all over the world, national policies must focus on transformation via multiple facets. —TLTP

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