ISLAMABAD: Pakistan recognises the economic significance of the East Asian region that is why it has been trying to enhance trade with the countries of this region.

This was stated by Ambassador Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at a special study launching ceremony at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Wednesday. The study titled: ‘Towards Geo-Economics: Engaging East Asia’ was launched by the China-Pakistan Study Centre.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch further added: “We are seeing that some nations are pursuing polices of protectionism and narrow interest at global arena that is disrupting global supply chains.

“Therefore, Pakistan is expanding the area of collaboration with East Asian nations.”

She said that recommendations mentioned in the report were “helpful for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the student of International Relations.”

Earlier, in his introductory remarks, Dr Talat Shabbir, who is Director China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) said that Pakistan had been pursuing close partnership with countries of East Asia, collectively and bilaterally, via its “Vision East Asia.”

It was recognition of East Asia’s strategic significance coupled with the region’s economic prowess that made it an attractive site for regional and global powers.

Dr Talat Shabbir added that CPSC Special Study 2022 was an effort to highlight Pakistan’s need to reinvigorate its political, economic and cultural linkages with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and East Asia as a whole.

In his remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that there were two bases CPSC undertook a report on this area. First, Pakistan’s national security policy had given a high priority to the geo-economics.

“Secondly, we truly believe that by focusing on geo economic we can bolster our overall security which includes economic security as well as human security.”

In her remarks, Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi, stated what made Asean nations so prosperous and progressive as a good political force, despite their numerous disputes, was their focus on socioeconomic development and cooperation on the areas of common interests which was key to their success.

Raja Amir Iqbal, former president Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce, said that there was need to address all the issues and provide an environment conducive for doing business, trade and commerce in Pakistan.

In his remarks, Majyd Aziz, former president Karachi Chamber of Commerce, said the study should be an eye opener to formulate a comprehensive policy toward East Asia.

“Pakistan has the potential to export lots of commodities to East Asia and we need to remove all impediments for Pakistani business community while doing trade and commerce with the region.”

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022

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