EU reps pledge to promote Pakistan’s positive image in world

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ISLAMABAD – The representatives of two European countries Monday promised to do the needful to project a positive image of Pakistan in the world.

The commitment came in a conference organised by the All Pakistan Business Forum to address the challenges Pakistan is facing in economy, skilled workforce development and country narrative.

Romanian Ambassador to Pakistan Nicola Goia said his country would help Pakistan in developing a soft image. He, however, pointed out that projecting a positive image of any country is not only responsibility of the government only but it is collective responsibility of every segment of the society.

Spanish Ambassador also expressed similar sentiments. Carlos Morales Sanchez said that Pakistan’s economy and law and order have improved.

Referring to quotes of Quaid-i-Azam, he said, Unity Faith and Discipline are excellent guiding principles for any nation and lead to prosperity.

He said the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Spain has more than doubled in the last years, from less than 500 million US dollars in 2010 to more than 1.2 billion dollars in 2016.

Discussing China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said the nations which aspire to join the project must not be left on the disposal of Chinese banks. The participants feared with giving more ownership to China in the CPEC may turn Pakistan into a Chinese colony. Among the fears there were questions that exactly what Pakistani common man will get out of CPEC since Chinese companies are importing most of the machinery from China and most of the skilled labour force is also being imported.

Ibrahim Qureshi of APBF generated the debate asking the international community to help Pakistan in revising its positive image. He said to start with the western countries could revise their travel advisory and stop showing Pakistan a very dangerous place to visit.

The panelists discussed different aspects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Some highlighted challenges associated with it and the need to address from regional perspective.

Ambassador European Union delegation to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain said that Pakistan needs to invest more in education sector. “Pakistan is spending 2.6 per cent of the GDP on education but it is not enough,” he said. Cautain said there is much demand in Europe which Pakistani skilled labour can easily fill.

The participants said that Pakistan needs betterment of its economy and skilled human resource to address the immediate challenges.

They termed heavy taxes on import of goods as a major hurdle in foreign countries coming to Pakistan. The speakers emphasised on qualified human resource development and said in order to make the country prosperous youth must be mobilised in right direction. Ambassadors from other countries also highlighted immense job potential for Pakistani skilled labour abroad.

Article first appeared in the Nation.




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