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Economic diplomacy top priority to address challenges: Qureshi

Zubair Qureshi
Islamabad

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Wednesday while terming peace imperative to pursue development agenda in the region said Pakistan was focusing on economic diplomacy to address the challenges of contemporary world.
Addressing at the inaugural session of ‘Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit,’ the Foreign Minister said peace in Afghanistan was important to realize the dream of progress and prosperity in the region, for which Pakistan was making persistent efforts and contribution.
The two-day conference is being attended by over 60 business delegations from 25 countries.
The Foreign Minister said in view of ensuring peace, Pakistan always emphasized on holding dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues.
He mentioned that talks between Pakistan and India on the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was to be held on Thursday at Attari.
In our talks once again we will show and extend peace gesture to India and I hope a positive response from that side as well, he said.
Qureshi congratulated the organizers of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit 2019 and commended Martin Dow Group for co-hosting a timely summit for promotion of business and small & medium enterprises (SMEz).
Qureshi said setting up Special Economic Zones under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would encourage investment in Pakistan, leading to sustainable development and economic stability.
He regretted that some projects, initiated by the previous government such as metro bus service, had burdened the already weak economy with heavy subsidies.
He said entering into $20 billion development projects with Saudi Arabia was another milestone for the country towards achieving economic stability.
The Foreign Minister said Pakistan was ready to introduce a new visa regime to promote tourism and culture.
He mentioned that 125 countries would benefit from the new regime with ease in getting visas and added that the step was aimed at promoting Pakistan’s peaceful image abroad.
Finance Minister Asad Umar also addressed the business leaders’ summit and assured the young leaders of innovative businesses and SMEz that the government was making maximum use of the development capacity of Pakistan.
“Pakistan cannot progress till professionals are given opportunities,” said Mr Umar. On grooming of professionals, he said it was imperative to improve the quality of governance in the country. “All the capabilities of professionals can be utilised in the best manner through providing them incentives,” he added.
Upholding that collaborations between the government and private sector he said it would improve the performance of all sectors. “Professional training is of vital importance for ensuring good governance.”
“The incumbent government is taking all possible steps for the welfare of the trader community,” he assured.
Adviser to PM on Commerce, Industry & Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would soon start playing bigger role in exports and with their active role we would be able to achieve the targets what we are trying to achieve.
The only missing link that Mr Dawood found difficult to put in place was understanding Japan’s culture of using and utilizing SMEz but unfortunately, he said we don’t have that arrangement.
How do we get that larger cooperation to be able to interface by either giving them (SMEs) tax advantage or culturally bring them closer. That is the major link that he said he wanted to put in place. However, he expressed his joy that most of the SMEs present at the summit were supplying and extending cooperation to Japan like in areas of quality assurance.
Among the noted speakers who addressed the inaugural day included Prof John Newbigin OBE – Ambassador for creative industries for the Mayor of London, John Defterios – CNN Business ‘Emerging Markets Editor & and many other distinguished guests.
Martin Dow Group and Nutshell Forum on Wednesday successfully held the inaugural day of the ‘Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit’ being held for two days (March 13, 14) at Serena Hotel Islamabad.
‘Leaders in Islamabad Summit’ is known for its high value contribution to the business community among vibrant strategist, futurists, innovators, ministers and top academicians in Pakistan.
It has been playing an important part in an evolution of our leadership to reimagine their ideas from new horizons.
This year’s summit features over 40 international and local speakers from diversified fields Global Think Tanks, CEO’ & Senior Leaderships of Fortune 500, Ivy League professors and International Media Anchors.
It is pertinent to mention that Martin Dow Group’s theme “Imagining the Unimaginable” is to take Pakistan over a new tangent of growth and stimulate transformation in our Business Eco-system. Some of our honorable delegates include Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Abdul Razak Dawood PM Adviser for Commerce & Investment, Professor John Newbigin OBE – Ambassador for creative industries for the Mayor of London, John Defterios – CNN Business ‘Emerging Markets Editor & and many other distinguished guests. Chairman Martin Dow Group Ali Akhai, while speaking at the inaugural session, said he was proud to carry forward the legacy of the Martin Dow Group Founding Chairman Jawed Akhai whose dream according to him was to place Pakistan on the global map for Leadership & Change Management.
He dedicated the 3rd Leaders Summit to his late father and spoke with deep passion on the teachings of the Founding Chairman, amplifying Jawed Akhai’s love for humanity and contribution to the community.
Ali Akhai emphasized that Martin Dow would always be part of a transformational journey that would leave its mark with a positive impact in the society and host such forums where global intellects exchange ideas for the longer lasting benefit of Pakistan Martin Dow Group is Pakistan’s 5th largest pharmaceutical company having 6 manufacturing operations across the Globe with a philanthropic approach to business.