Economics & Business

Trade promotion in Pakistan; manpower and conducive Markets

Newly elected Pakistani government is taking strides to face the economic crisis going in Pakistan. In this regard the Chairman Senate, Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to play a pro-active role in promoting the country’s trade and economic interests through economic diplomacy and stressed that the Foreign Service officers be trained to look after this aspect of foreign policy. He expressed his views while he was talking to Foreign Secretary, Mr. Salman Bashir who paid a courtesy call on him in Islamabad. Mr. Soomro said that in today’s globalized world every thing revolves around economics, which is fast emerging as the dominant theme in politics as well. The Chairman Senate emphasized that there should be a direct linkage between our Missions abroad and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry back home.

‘The Embassies and Foreign Missions must explore new markets for Pakistani products abroad and the local manufacturers, businessmen and entrepreneurs should try to meet those demands by timely supplying quality goods’, he added. Mr. Soomro particularly called for activating the office of Commercial Counselors and Attachés, who should remain in contact with the private sectors in the countries of their posting. He said that public-private partnership is the new paradigm all over the world and we should also conform to this arrangement.

Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro, recalling his visit to China last year, said that Sino-Pak ties are time tested and these would go from strength to strength in days to come. He said that Mr. Salman Bashir’s elevation, who was serving as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Beijing till recently, to the post of Foreign Secretary is a happy co-incidence as the out-going Foreign Secretary also served as Ambassador to China. He said there is still a great scope for further widening of our economic relations with that country. Mr. Soomro said that we have got very able and talented people in our foreign service. However, there is a need to re-orient them by periodically organizing refresher courses especially in economic and trade diplomacy.

Mr. Salman Bashir informed the Chairman Senate that there are well-established institutes in China in almost each and every field, which are being manned by veterans of that particular field and they provide invaluable guidance and input to their government on the subject. By following the guidelines provided by these institutes, he said, China has revolutionaries its trade, commerce, industry and agriculture.

The Chairman endorsed the idea of having such institutes in our country too so that the experience of the veterans would not go waste and remained in use for the country and the people. He also observed that the Overseas Pakistanis could be a rich source of investment, which must be tapped. ‘Here comes the role of Foreign Office that should not only pass on timely information regarding import / export potential in every field but also indicate potential market as well as introduce the products’. The industrial fairs and exhibitions should also be utilized for this purpose, he added. He wished Mr. Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary all success in his new assignment.

Furthermore Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower & Overseas Pakistanis has said that maximum opportunities would be explored in overseas especially Arab Countries to provide jobs to the Pakistani labour force. He expressed these views while talking in a briefing given to him by Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC). The Minister was briefed that employment process for Pakistanis in South Korea, started after signing of MoU in June 2006 between both the countries adding 69 workers have been dispatched so far to Korea while 40 more would be dispatched on May 27, 2008.

He asked the OEC administration to open more training centers to teach Korean language to the workers at Hyderabad, Sukkur and Quetta so that maximum work force can qualify Korean language test for getting employment in Korea. Announcement for employment in Korea should also be made through advertisement in the print media published in local areas of the country, he added. The Minister was informed that OEC is facing hardships for finding opportunities in Arab Countries as most of the Pakistani workers prefer to make deal for employment there through private sector in Pakistan. He directed to charge minimum fee for Korean language training for the poor workers who cannot afford heavy fee for the purpose after the OEC requested to increase the fee from Rs.3000 to Rs.7000.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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