Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan gives paramount importance to its relations with African countries, adding there has been 7 percent growth in Pakistan’s trade with Africa despite Covid-19 related challenges.
Chairing the third meeting of economic diplomacy under Engage Africa policy in Islamabad on Wednesday, the foreign minister said that Africa comprising 54 countries with a population of 1.3 billion is an important continent for Pakistan.
The minister said that under economic diplomacy, Pakistan organised the first Pak-Africa Trade Development conference in Nairobi. He said despite Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan’s export volume witnessed seven percent rise as a result of this economic diplomacy.
He said that organising virtual conferences to promote economic diplomacy have been included in our diplomatic priority areas. Underlining the shift from geo-politics to geo-economics, the foreign minister emphasised the importance of economic diplomacy as a key component of modern diplomatic practice.
The foreign minister said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is at the forefront of safeguarding and protecting Pakistan’s economic interests through initiatives like the Prime Minister’s Global Initiative on Debt Relief for Developing Countries.
The ministry and the missions abroad are also working on advancing the Roshan Digital Account and the home remittances and the Prime Minister’s Economic Outreach Initiatives. The foreign minister encouraged envoys to cultivate and broaden mutually beneficial trade and economic partnerships with African countries, focusing on key goals of trade promotion, financial inflows, investments, remittances, tourism and technology transfer.
During the meeting, the Pakistani envoys apprised the foreign minister of their activities in economic and commercial domain. They highlighted specific steps in follow-up of the Trade Development Conference and apprised of measures to strengthen existing linkages and forging new ones for enhanced economic collaboration.
Pakistan’s Heads of Missions in Abuja, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Nairobi, Tripoli, Port Louis, Rabat, Pretoria, Niamey, Khartoum, Dar es Salam, Dakar, Harare and Tunis participated in the meeting.