Pakistan Foreign Minister: The next big thing is tourism

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan was projected to be the next big thing in international tourism. “Following exchange rate adjustments, our exports have been picking pace, increasing by 14 per cent, from $20.45 billion in 2016-17 to $23.33bn in 2017-18.”

The minister also said that economic diplomacy is the need of the hour and called for concerted efforts to make Pakistan part of the global production chain.

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Mr Qureshi said the government had placed economic revival and growth at the highest pedestal of its reform agenda.

“Our manifesto speaks of roadmaps on politico-economic diplomacy, on enhancing exports, boosting investments and alleviating poverty. Our 100-day performance attests to the priority we attach to it. In these 100 days, we have been able to secure support from key allies, and avert an imminent balance of payments difficulties. But crisis aversion neither was, nor will be good enough. We have to do much better. The people of Pakistan expect this of us. Pakistan’s innate potential and inherent prospects, its immutable resilience and immense resources demand this of us.”

He said investments and trade were critical to the economic diplomacy agenda, but equally important was the need to scale up and prudently utilize development assistance flows and increase remittance through enhanced employment opportunities abroad for the country’s labor force.

Noting that there was no reason for pessimism, he talked in detail about immense potential Pakistan was blessed with. He pointed out that Goldman Sachs had identified Pakistan as one of the Next Eleven economies that would become drivers of global growth this century.

The foreign minister said there was no reason for Pakistan to lag behind and expressed the confidence that the conference would be able to produce insights, and come up with an action plan of implementable recommendations.