Distinguished Lecture on ‘The strategic importance of Economic Diplomacy for Pakistan in the 21st century’ by Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi organized a distinguished lecture on The strategic importance of Economic Diplomacy for Pakistan in the 21st century by Honourable Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, at the IBA Main Campus. Attendees included members from the academia, media, consul generals, corporate sector, the IBA faculty, students and alumni.
Director Alumni Corporate Relations and Communications Department (ACRC) Malahat Awan invited Mr. Qureshi and Associate Deans IBA Dr. Sayeed Ghani and Dr. Huma Baqai to the stage. Following this, Dr. Baqai introduced the Foreign Minister to the audience and invited him to deliver his lecture.
Mr. Qureshi commenced his lecture by thanking the IBA for inviting him and applauded the Institute for its continuous strive for excellence. He then described how the 21st century is different from the old times. He said “Borders have become fluid. Communication is instantaneous and free flowing. There are a multiplicity of actors and interests within the State, interacting constantly with actors and interests outside of it.” Emphasizing the importance of economic diplomacy, he said in one word it is ‘opportunity’.
He also discussed about the economic challenges of the current account deficit and falling exports that Pakistan’s economy is facing. He said that his office has made a conscious determination to place Economic Diplomacy in front and center of Pakistan’s diplomatic agenda. According to him, the foreign ministry has made concerted efforts to reorient diplomatic efforts towards addressing national needs. During the lecture, he mentioned that Pakistan secured over US$10 billion to overcome balance of payments crisis, and secure oil supplies on deferred payment basis.
He also mentioned that Pakistan will no longer fight wars for other countries and will maintain its stance for peace which is why even to India’s aggression, Pakistan reacted with responsibility and restraint, but also resolve. While talking about the future, he said that Pakistan must climb up the global value chains by upgrading technology, leveraging young talent, and by capitalizing on the export related opportunities that CPEC will create.
Following the lecture, a Q&A session between Mr. Qureshi and the audience ensued. Concluding the event, Dr. Ghani thanked the distinguished guest for his time and presented a memento to Mr. Qureshi as a token of thanks.