Economic stability crucial to achieve foreign policy goals: FM

ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said for Pakistan to achieve its foreign policy objectives, putting its ‘economic house in order’ was crucial.

Addressing the launch of the Report on ‘Leveraging Private Investment for Pakistan’s Sustainable Development’ here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said the government was working towards a more hospitable investment environment to help bolster the confidence of investors.

The foreign minister said Pakistan was committed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.

He emphasized that Agenda 2030 and SDGs needed to become a global framework to encourage the private sector to capture the benefits and tradeoffs of sustainable development.

He recalled that the country had achieved an encouraging growth of 5.37 percent despite the fact that the macro-economic indicators pointed in the wrong direction in August 2018 when the government assumed power.

Qureshi said with a country like Pakistan still being in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, achieving the objectives of sustainable development was a challenge.

In this regard, he said, Pakistan needed to be innovative and think out-of-the-box solutions to spur growth.

He said the government’s priority had changed with the recent launch of a new national security policy focusing on economic policy that encompassed food and water security.

The foreign minister said linking sustainable growth to development was the goal of the government and expressed confidence that the report would set guiding principles for inclusive and sustainable development.

He said the Foreign Office had a lead role to play in this regard and encouraged the diplomats to get out of the concept of working in silos and rather focus on a coordinated approach.

Resident Representative UNDP Pakistan Knut Ostby said the global development financing sector was at the crossroads with many countries struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

He said the UNDP was providing policy advisory and technical assistance to Pakistan and proposed the government adopt a holistic policy framework.

He said UNDP recognized Pakistan’s economic and development policy goals to foster regional trade, investment, and connectivity between Afghanistan, China, Iran, and Central Asian Republics for stability.

He emphasized encouraging the private sector to spur economic growth in the country.

UNDP’s Senior Adviser on Finance Haroon Sharif briefed about the key features of the report focusing on leveraging the private sector for Pakistan’s sustainable development.

Additional Secretary UN Nabeel Munir said the government was committed to achieving sustainable development and UN’s Agenda 2030 for a prosperous Pakistan.