PM urges on improving trade links in sub-continent


COLOMBO: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized on improving trade links among the countries of the sub-continent to bring people out of poverty.

Addressing the first Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference in Colombo on Wednesday, he said the way forward for the sub-continent is to resolve differences and improve trade relationship.

He said our difference is only Kashmir issue, which should be resolved as per the UN resolutions. He said differences can only be resolved through dialogue.

The Prime Minister said our problems are subservient to trade and investment. Imran Khan said he came to politics with the dream of a welfare state and poverty alleviation.

He said the current Pakistan government has taken a number of steps towards ease of doing business, removing impediments in the way of investment. He said as a result of these measures, Pakistan improved by 28 points in ease of doing business in the world.

Imran Khan invited the Sri Lankan business community to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project that opens the opportunity for them right up to Central Asia. He said incentives have been offered to the business community to invest in Special Economic Zones being established in Pakistan.

He said we can learn from Sri Lanka in tourism. He said Pakistan has enormous potential in tourism, including unique mountains, coastal line and also religious tourism. 

Addressing the ceremony, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan’s focus has now been shifted from geo-politics to geo-economic. He said the current government is committed to take advantage of the geographical location of Pakistan to make it an economic hub.

He said economic diplomacy is also one of the most important components of our foreign policy to give boost to the economic activities.

The Minister said Pakistan’s economic indicators are on the positive trajectory.

He said Pakistan has taken numerous steps to ensure ease of doing business and remarkable achievements have been made in this regard. He said the country’s real estate and housing sectors are also flourishing and contributing to the country’s progress and prosperity.

Speaking on the occasion, Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said Pakistan’s economy has shown remarkable turnaround during the COVID-19.

He said Pakistan provides great opportunities to businessmen to come, invest and enjoy the lucrative environment there. He said the business communities of both the countries must work hard to further build economic relations.

Addressing the ceremony, the Sri Lankan State Minister for Commerce said bilateral cooperation in trade is of vital importance to alleviate poverty.

He stressed the need for promotion of South-South dialogue and partnership. He said both the countries need to enhance cooperation in trade and investment.

He said the resource gap can also be bridged with the promotion of investment.