FM Qureshi boasts economic diplomacy to European envoys

By Staff Reporter
Friday – March 5, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated, Thursday, that the purpose of the meeting is to review Pakistan’s economic engagement with European countries, identify impediments to fulfil its true potential, and chart a way forward.

According to a press release, as part of incumbent’s efforts to promote economic diplomacy the FM held a meeting with European envoys based in the federal capital.

He shared with the envoys the outcome of his two recent virtual meetings with Pakistani heads of mission in Europe.

Highlighting Europe’s position as Pakistan’s largest trading partner, FM Qureshi underscored the importance of consolidating and expanding Pakistan’s economic outreach with the continent.

He noted that, under the generalised scheme of preferences plus (GSP+) scheme, Pakistan’s bilateral trade with European Union (EU) has doubled over the past 8 years.

There, however, was still room to realise the full potential. Despite the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Pakistan’s exports to and investments from many European countries has increased.

FM Qureshi underlined the importance of addressing bottlenecks that could hamper mutually beneficial economic collaboration.

He highlighted the need to strengthen the mechanism of joint economic commission (JEC). In this regard, it was informed, a calendar of JECs to be held in 2021 was being finalised.

FM Qureshi apprised the European envoys of the various reforms introduced by the incumbent regime to improve business and investment climate which have brought an impressive improvement in Pakistan’s ease of doing business ranking.

Welcoming the support extended to prime minister (PM) Imran Khan’s ‘global initiative on debt relief’ for developing countries, the FM said that more was needed to be done.

He further stressed the need for coordinated efforts to combat the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The participating envoys appreciated the FM’s efforts to promote mutually beneficial economic partnerships and offered valuable suggestions.

This was the second region-specific interaction focused on economic diplomacy held this year.

The first one was held with African envoys in January.

The meeting was attended by envoys from the EU, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Greece, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium and the United Kingdom (UK).