CPEC has potential to become a breeding ground for Pakistans venture of economic diplomacy; PBF

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Islamabad: Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) has said China Pakistan Economic Corridor has played a pivotal role in channeling the notion of economic diplomacy in policy making arenas. “Indubitably CPEC has potential to become a breeding ground for Pakistans venture of economic diplomacy not only through special economic zones but also enhancing regional connectivity in multifarious manner”.

Addressing the executive committee, PBF Deputy Secretary General (Economic) Dr Laraib Elahi said that its a widely accepted fact that economy is central to foreign policy and is curated in accordance to it. Perhaps Geo-economics shapes geopolitics thus in order to build, maintain regional influence and relavence its suicidal to ignore mamoth potency of economic amplification through diplomatic means, Its an unformidable tool of National security therefore bifurcating economic policy and foreign policy isn’t wise.

She said west being far ahead rest of the world cognised the paramountcy of economic diplomacy by setting up European union- the biggest trade bloc, with more than 100 countries in trade relations- is the epitome of building trade surpastructure over diplomatic infrastructure. The EU started its envious journey from a treaty of merely six countries trading in just two goods (European Coal and Steel community) ultimately coalasing whole continent. Former being a more exclusive or based upon geographical contiguity , World also witnessed economic ventures propelled by diplomacy across the continents , between former  rivals , it is no exaggeration to state that economic interests have overhauled geopolitics in contemporary world. With economic diplomacy given core place in Pakistans foreign policy framework yet meager implementation is observed.

PBF official further said that its also been observed that Pakistan’s trade outreach is limited to European states that stretches to American continent for most. If its coupled with aggressive yet prudent diplomacy supplemented with local think tanks, or NGOs the reach can turn Global in no time. No doubt the centre of gravity for the global economy has shifted from West to Asia and Africa, later being labelled as the ‘Continent of the Future’ owing to its promising economic potential, lucrative investment. In this regard we need to diversify its exports.

According to USDA, Pakistan’s domestic rice consumption is 3.7 million tonnes, with an exportable supply of 7.3 million tonnes for 2021-22, this large surplus is an opportunity to bolster exports, it could only happened through rigorous and keen economic diplomacy tide could turn in favour of Pakistan.

However here a dire need to institutionalize the ethos of economic diplomacy from top to bottom to keep pace with rest of the world; laraib added.