Lahore – Forty-one Ambassadors and High Commissioners attended the Lahore Chamber of Commerce dinner held in their honor where Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the chief guest.
Yemen’s Ambassador, Mr. Mohammed Motahar Al-Shabi, represented the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps at the dinner attended by 300 prominent businessmen. Vice President Haris Attique spoke on this occasion while former LCCI Presidents and members of the Executive Committee were present on the occasion.
LCCI Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir highlighted Pakistan’s export potential and the opportunities available in various sectors. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said a good foreign policy can help Pakistan face economic challenges.
The foreign minister said he had let the world know that Pakistan wanted trade, not aid. He said the Foreign Ministry was strongly focused on addressing critical issues such as the status of FATF and GSP Plus for Pakistan. “I visited China, the United States and other countries and also talked to representatives of Central Asian countries and got a positive impression for Pakistan from everywhere.”
Bilawal Bhutto said that economic diplomacy is essential for economic stability and the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard is commendable. He congratulated the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for completing its 100th anniversary and also for organizing a goodwill dinner for diplomats. He said the Foreign Ministry will continue to provide all possible assistance for promoting trade and export-led growth. He said this is in line with our geoeconomics-focused economic diplomacy goals.
LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir informed the august assembly that the Lahore Chamber completed a century of its establishment in 2022 and he was given the unique honor of becoming the 100th President of this premier business support organization from the country.
He said that the nation of Pakistan has made huge sacrifices in the war on terrorism and we have been the most affected country in this war. Pakistan has played a key role in the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and the development of the United Arab Emirates.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that in times of prosperity, Pakistan has also contributed significantly to the economic development of current economic powers like Malaysia, Singapore, China and Germany. He said Pakistan’s five-year economic plan was adopted by South Korea in the 1960s, which laid the foundation for South Korea’s emergence as one of the strongest economies in Asia. . Delegations from various countries, now among the developed economies, traveled to Pakistan in the 1960s to study our model of industrialization and growth. Pakistan has always played a leading role in UN peacekeeping efforts.
“Now is the time to hold hands,” the LCCI chairman said, adding that diplomats should play their part to make the world community recognize Pakistan’s sacrifices and efforts. Pakistan must not remain politically and economically isolated in these difficult times. They should also help Pakistan overcome the tough economic challenges facing our nation.
Mian Nauman Kabir said Pakistan’s strategic position demands that it be considered in important regional and global issues. It can be a good player in the global and regional supply chain for the benefit of the wider multilateral trading system. The demographic divide in Pakistan with 230 million inhabitants must be exploited. Pakistan is a great source of young skilled and semi-skilled entrepreneurs in all sectors
He said Pakistan’s economy is not just about textiles. We have a very dynamic information technology sector with quality human resources. The foreign diplomatic community present here today can play a vital role in attracting foreign direct investment in the IT sector in Pakistan for the establishment of new technology zones. He asked the diplomats to persuade their respective governments to launch special programs for skills development and placement of IT graduates and engineers from Pakistan in your technology industries.
“Similarly, you can play an important role in attracting foreign investors from your country to facilitate joint ventures (JVs) in the other dynamic sectors of our economy such as pharmaceuticals, processed foods (especially halal foods), tourism, renewable energy and the manufacture of solar panels, panels, electric vehicles and mobile devices,” Mian Nauman Kabir added. almonds, grapes, guava, banana, berries, citrus fruits, etc. These fruits can definitely find a place on the shelves of high-end outlets in your countries.
The LCCI chairman asked the diplomats to consider themselves as Pakistan’s ambassadors. No one else can project a soft image of Pakistan as a business friendly country especially through electronic media and social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc. Pakistan’s economy needs unwavering support from diplomats in these difficult times.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan should expand the current list of FTAs and PTAs by adding more countries so that our exporters can get better access to potential markets including Africa, Middle East, Asia Central and ASEAN. It goes without saying that the role of the heads of foreign missions will be of paramount importance in this regard. You need to convince the relevant officials in your governments to negotiate FTAs and PTAs with Pakistan and also strengthen banking channels to facilitate bilateral trade.
He mentioned that CPEC, which has rapidly upgraded Pakistan’s required infrastructure and strengthened its economy through the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones, has entered the next phase. He said we would like to work with the foreign diplomatic community to better empower our female workforce and make them drivers of economic change in Pakistan. Mian Nauman Kabir said Lahore House has always been an important destination for appointed ambassadors to Pakistan. This great institution has always played a vital role in strengthening trade and economic ties with other countries. Holding this dinner is a step ahead of the same agenda.
He also thanked Mohammad Motahar Alashabi, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to Pakistan, for his unwavering support to the Lahore Chamber in organizing the 2022 LCCI Ambassadors Dinner in a proper manner.