*Our foreign economic policy should be direct and goal-oriented, Dr. Ishrat Hussain*
Islamabad (VOM) :Former Governor State Bank and former Special Assistant on Institutional Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain has said that in order to become an economic hub of the region, we have to adopt new ideas with an open mind and have to promote regional trade for economically strong Pakistan. He expressed these views in a seminar organized by the Center of Pakistan and International Relations . Ex-ambassadors, diplomats and people from various walks of life attended the event. Center of Pakistan and International relation is a non-profiting global strategic think tank and policy research organization dedicated to provide strategic insights and policy solutions to decision makers. Under the dynamic leadership of President Amna Malik COPAIR focuses on human rights issues, youth skill development, Green energy business solutions, gender equality, women rights, economic empowerment, global peace, Sports, democracy, interfaith harmony, trade, Investment and diplomacy. Addressing the participants Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that our foreign economic policy should be direct and goal-oriented. Globalization, Technology, Demographics are an important component of a country’s economic policy. The world’s densely populated countries have achieved a growth of six percent, he said, “We have to increase our share in world exports and promote regional trade. Exports of service including ICT should be increased, foreign direct investment in exports and manufacturing should be attracted. He said joint ventures with national companies should be initiated and Pakistani companies should be equipped with modern technology to increase their production. The former governor of State Bank said that we should establish better relations with United States ,China, the Gulf countries and Afghanistan. We should also establish better relations with our neighboring countries. He said we need US assistance in power distribution and transmission, refining sector, LNG terminals.
Dr Ishrat said the United States ranks first in the world in the field of education and we should take advantage from their experiences. India is very ahead in the field of education and research. Dr. Ishrat Hussain suggested that we should sign a free trade agreement with Afghanistan and with the cooperation of partners we should focus on establishing industrial zones in Afghanistan. CPEC should be extended to Afghanistan. We should do long-term agreements should be made with Gulf countries to meet our energy needs.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that a new agreement should be signed with India in the water sector. Earlier, Amina Munawar Awan, CEO of Center of Pakistan and International Relations while expressing her views said that it is a very good move to start your own business by utilizing your limited resources. We have started startups in Pakistan, even in the past our this initiative were admired by Ex Prime Minister. She said that we are grateful to UNDP, European Union, USAID and UK that they are providing assistance to our people in this regard. CEO Center of Pakistan and International Relations said that we are grateful to the ambassadors of the European Union and Spain who are also present here today. Speaking at the seminar, former ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that education plays an important role in the development of any country and improvement in GDP. Education provides human resources for various sectors. He saod Pakistan has given access to Afghanistan to export its products, but it is not ready to give this facility to India. He said that we are far behind other SAARC countries. India signed the Motor Vehicles Agreement, but we acted reluctantly on this occasion. If we want to develop and become the economic hub of the region, then we have to change our mindset. Aziz Ahmad Khan, said that India has given concessions in tariffs for its commercial purposes, while the situation is different with us. Our famers are protesting while in India farmers enjoying all facilities including seeds and less electricity tariff. We have to adopt the culture of business. Former Ambassador and Chairman of Center of Pakistan and International Relations Khalid Mehmood, , in his concluding remarks, said that the country has experienced economic development in the 1960s, after which the journey of degradation began. He said that fundamental structural reforms are only discussed in our foreign relations. Apart from them, there is no better option. Political stability is very important for the development of the country.