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Govt. is focusing on economic diplomacy to promote Pakistan economic interests-Ch.Aizaz Ahmed March 20, 2013
Meeting at ICCI
Economic policy must be an integral component of any successful foreign policy as economic issues like trade and investment have gained a lot of importance in the foreign policy of all the countries and Pakistan also pursued that objective.
Ch.Aizaz Ahmed, Additional Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made these remarks while addressing business leaders of Federal Capital at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). He said that the main feature of Pakistan’s foreign policy is protection of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and our country is in a position to conduct its foreign policy and domestic affairs on the basis of its national interests and goals.
Ch.Aizaz Ahmed said that our country is facing many challenges like energy crisis, corruption, law & order situation, terrorism, maintaining a good relationship with neighbouring counties and many other core issues. He said that balancing relationship with neighbouring countries is very important as Pakistan’s future would inevitably be linked with is neighbouring countries.
Additional Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan also signed 27 conditionalities for getting GSP Plus status and expressed hope that Pakistan would get GSP Plus status from January 2014  and bulk of our products would have duty-free access to European Union and it is expected that rate of export growth in EU member states would increase up to 1billion Euro .  
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI said that the focus of our foreign Policy must be on the promotion of economic diplomacy instead of political diplomacy for developing economic relations with the rest of the world.
Mr.Bakhtawari said that we really value Pakistan’s relations with its neighboring countries and always emphasized on regional cooperation, adding that Pakistan needs to focus on trade with other regional trade blocs like Asean, Saarc,D8, ECO and SCO countries.
ICCI President said that role of private sector is very limited in the foreign affairs of our country which should be increased by taking representatives of private sector on board by considering their valuable input on important issues. He said that commercial Offices and Pakistani embassies abroad should send market study reports to Chambers regularly which would help exporters to know market potential of their exports around the globe.
He said that Pakistan should improve bilateral relations with other countries by establishing direct air link with these countries which would bring people closer to each other that would also be beneficial in finding potential markets for Pakistani products. He further said that government should also pursue liberal visa policy so that more people could visit our country. 

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