According to newspaper reports, the new commerce and textile minister has expressed the resolve to achieve exports targets set for the current financial year by stimulating business and trade activities in the country. In his views, trade and economy are the key components of diplomacy in today’s world which also help maintain political relations with the nations. Pakistan has tremendous opportunities for foreign investors once peace and security is restored in the country.The minister’s resolve should not be a breaking news for the nation as the erstwhile minister had the similar views on business, trade and economy but he left the arena without practically doing anything under his control. The nation is fed up with lip service of the so-called people’s representatives, demagogues and rabble rousers who make tall claims for the nation building but have least regard to fulfill their obligations. Pakistan has diplomatic missions in almost every country of the world and are equipped with man and machines, but the country has to go a long way to introduce its presence on the world map let alone doing anything positive in domains of business, trade and investment. The nation pays billions of dollars annual bill for their salaries and perks but most of the members of diplomatic crew have no utility whatsoever.
Until now, no political government ever sought any performance report from the commercial attachés or questioned their utility. On another note, the ministry of commerce, textile or finance have to struggle their own part of mismanagement and administrative failures and the finance division members seemed to be are in a mode to justify their own salaries and perks. The officials, who are responsible to devise trade and investment policies to enhance trade with potential markets, are in hibernation. Pakistan had signed the Generalized Scheme of Preferences with EU member states, but failed to gain benefits from the huge market.
It is unfortunate that Pakistan has lost 20 percent of its exports to the regional competitors. The government has never bothered to study what made the Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest in a hostile country like Bangladesh which had doubled its export volume in short span of a few years. The government still has time in the office to do some practical business and activate the commercial sections of the Pakistani missions abroad. The missions should be prodded to find new vistas of business opportunities and justify their presence on foreign lands.