-Economic diplomacy: Pakistani Ambassadors put heads down over economic revival

-Economic diplomacy: Pakistani Ambassadors put heads down over economic revival

ISLAMABAD - A two-day Envoys Conference on Economic Diplomacy began in Islamabad on Thursday to attract foreign investment in Pakistan.

Addressing the inaugural session, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Economic Diplomacy is the need of the hour and the government has placed economic revival and growth at the highest pedestal of its reform agenda.

He said Pakistan is the sixth most populous country, with the third largest number of English speakers, and a growing number of Chinese and Arabic speakers.

The Foreign Minister said more than half of its population is less than 25 years of age making it larger than 179 countries in terms of demography.

He said Pakistan has one of the largest irrigation system, the biggest producer of cotton and dairy products and the largest reserves of coal, salt and other minerals.

He said Pakistan affords overland route to three key regions and economic powerhouses such as South Asia, Central Asia, China and the Middle East.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while pooling expertise and resources, we need to evolve genuine partnerships and build real synergies within departments, with the private sector, academia and research community.

He expressed the confidence that this conference will be able to produce insights, and come up with an action plan of implementable recommendations.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Asad Umar emphasized on enhancing exports, employment, and foreign investment to steer the countrymen out of poverty. He said new markets for Pakistani products should be our focus.

Prime Minister's Advisor on Commerce Abddul Razzaq Dawood said that the conference is aimed at collective efforts for economic development of the country. He said the government is focusing on engineering, chemical, and Information Technology sectors to enhance exports. He said new policy will be introduced for revival and promotion of industrial sector.

Pakistan's Ambassadors and Heads of Missions from select capitals, representatives of public and private sectors, and government institutions would participate in the conference.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to grace concluding session of the conference on Friday.