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Speakers highlight South Korea’s role as a key link between Pakistan and East Asian countries

ISLAMABAD: Diplomats, economists and scholars agreed on Wednesday that South Korea can play an important role in developing economic and trade relations between Pakistan and East Asian countries.

The scholars have emphasized restoring multilateral sectors and historical ties to promote economic and trade relations between Pakistan and East Asian countries, including Korea.

The Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS), in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, organized a policy dialogue on “Comprehensive Economic Partnership: East Asia and Pakistan”.

The China-Pakistan Center for Studies (CPSC) and the Center for Strategic Perspective (CSP) were the organizers of the policy dialogue.

The dialogue’s distinguished speakers included, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, DG ISSI; Suh SangPyo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan; Dr. Neelum Nigar, CSP Director; Muhammad Naseer, CEO Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP); Kim Sung Jae, CEO (Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) KOTRA; Chang Yong Il, Managing Director of Samsung Pakistan; Zhonglei Mou, COO of Hyundai Nishat Jamil Ahmad Qureshi, CEO, Board of Investment, Pakistan; Ms. Huma Fakhar, CEO and Founder of MAP Services Group; Muhammad Zubair, Joint Secretary (Emigration), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development; Aftab ur Rehman Tarrar, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation; and Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar, Gandhara Chair in Cultural Studies, Wah University.

On the occasion, speakers discussed various fields including mutual trade, investment, religious tourism, modern industry relocation, mutual technology development, people-to-people contacts and ancient religious heritage. Buddhist for the promotion of economic and trade relations between Pakistan and East Asia. countries.

In his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Suh SangPyo explained the idea of ​​comprehensive economic partnership between Pakistan and East Asia.

He said Pakistan and East Asia share promising economic ties.

The Ambassador clarified that East Asia accounts for a quarter of Pakistan’s trade and there will be many opportunities for growth together once the partnership is finalized through a formal agreement.

He spoke at length about the economic opportunities and challenges that East Asian countries, especially South Korea, face when interacting with Pakistan. In the end, he expressed his gratitude to the ISSI for their efforts in organizing the event.

Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director of CPSC, moderated the event and introduced the theme of the dialogue and highlighted the prospects for comprehensive economic partnership between Pakistan and East Asia.

He noted that today’s dialogue analyzes Pakistan’s interest in East Asia and ASEAN through the prism of geo-economics and economic security in line with the policy orientation of the National Security Policy (NSP) of Pakistan.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry gave a brief overview of Pakistan’s relations with East Asian countries and hailed the economic growth of the Asian Tigers. Ambassador Chaudhary further said that Pakistan has strong ties with East Asian countries and especially with the Republic of Korea, the cultural ties are strong and comprehensively complement the bilateral ties.

The keynote speaker, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, Ms. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch spoke about the challenges facing the world in the post-covid era.

She expresses her apprehensions on the prevailing competition between the United States and China which, according to her, affects international relations in many ways.

She was also skeptical of economic growth as the world went through a huge economic crisis in the wake of popular protectionist tendencies and deglobalization narratives.

In this environment, the current political dialogue is very encouraging, she commented. She expressed her optimism about the results that the political dialogue would have in the short and long term.

She assured the government’s support and trusted the Republic of Korea Embassy and the Republic of Pakistan Embassy to strengthen bilateral relations.

In the first trade session, CSP Director, Dr. Neelum Nigar, explained how Pakistan’s ‘East Asian vision’ fits well within the overall economic framework that was discussed.

She highlighted Pakistan’s major exports and imports from East Asian countries. She provided an in-depth analysis of Pakistan’s economic interactions with South Korea.

Regarding the prospects for an FTA between the two countries, Dr. Nigar outlined some key policy options for Pakistan.

DG (Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) KOTRA Mr. Kim Sung Jae described the South Korean economic engagements in Pakistan.

He pointed out that Seoul promotes local businesses in Pakistan and tries to achieve mutual benefits for both nations.

During the second session on investment, Samsung Pakistan’s Managing Director, Mr. Chang Yong Il, said that the government of Pakistan should formulate long-term plans through feasibility studies to attract investors. He also said that Pakistan is a potential investment market for Korean companies.

CEO, Board of Investment, Pakistan, Mr. Jamil Ahmad Qureshi said the BOI was working hard to address the challenges faced by foreign investors in Pakistan.

He stressed the need to invest in Pakistan’s export-oriented industries and that SEZs have been notified by the government and FDI entering them has been protected by federal law.

Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Tarrar highlighted the importance of tourism in promoting P2P exchanges as Pakistan is a diverse country in tourist attractions.

Pakistan can offer both heritage and adventure tourism to Koreans, but it is necessary to focus on marketing.

Similarly, Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar pointed out that Pak-Korea cultural relations are deeply rooted in the civilization of Gandhara, which is the cradle of Buddhism. The exchange between people is hollow if it is not based on activities that the government of Pakistan can offer by celebrating Buddhist festivals.

Along with information products/infrastructural services should also be worked on to improve relations between the two countries.