Shah Mahmood Qureshi says now national security means economy
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that now the interpretation of the national security had changed which means economy.
Addressing the two-day Envoys’ Conference titled Engage Africa on Thursday, he said that who would listen to them as they could not burn the stove of their house. “India is present among 32 African countries, but we did not pay attention to Africa during the last 30 years,” he said.
The minister said that Pakistan’s mutual trade with Africa is negative. He expressed the commitment to develop a strong relationship with the African countries and the Foreign Office would fully facilitate and cooperate with the Commerce Ministry to achieve this objective.
Adviser on Commerce Razaq Dawood said the government’s vision is to double trade with the African countries in the next five years which currently hovers between US$3-4 billion.
He said that Pakistan’s exports to Africa have risen to over one billion dollars. “Our locally manufactured tractors are making their way in several African countries including Mozambique and Angola.”
Referring to the continent’s potential, the Adviser said that Pakistan is also holding a trade conference in Nairobi next year exploit the opportunities there.
Alluding to the improvement in country’s economic indicators, the minister said that economic diplomacy is important for socio-economic development of Pakistan.
He reiterated that foreign policy can also become effective and meaningful if the country is economically strong.