Finance Minister Asad Umar has said Pakistan is opening up to the world with improved security situation in the country.
Addressing the Graduation ceremony of 27th Advanced Diplomatic Course organized by Foreign Service Academy for Foreign Diplomats in Islamabad on Friday, he said Pakistan is trying to improve trade and economic relations with different countries in order to exploit its full potential.
Referring to the geo strategic location of Pakistan, the Finance Minister said Pakistan is the pivot of the Silk Road. He said we are in the process of implementing China Pakistan Economic Corridor project which has strengthened our economic relations with the time tested friend. He pointed out that Pakistan and Turkey are also on the path of developing strategic economic framework. A strategic relationship council has also been set up with Saudi Arabia to further deepen the relations with the Kingdom.
The Finance Minister said that Pakistan by its history and incredible heritage is a multi-cultural society and we want to make this accessible to the rest of the world.
Referring to the recent staffoff with India, Asad Umar said things seemed to be on the mend. We, however, will continue to be guard till the elections are held in the neighboring India. He said Pakistan stays committed to improve relations with all the regional countries including India.
He said our hand of friendship is still extended to India but if India resorted to any misadventure, this hand will turn into a fist.
The Finance Minister said we have the capacity and capability to defend the motherland.
On Afghanistan, Asad Umar said Pakistan's efforts for the Afghan peace process are now widely being appreciated. He said Pakistan will continue to play its role to make the dialogue process successful.
In his welcome address, Director General of Foreign Service Academy Aftab Ahmad Khokhar said that twenty three participants from eighteen countries participated in the advanced diplomatic course. He expressed the confidence that the participants of the course will serve as Pakistan's ambassadors to their home countries and contribute towards further promoting bilateral relations.
One of the course participants from the West Indies appreciated the magnanimity shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan in defusing the tension with India.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Asad Umar says the government is keen to devise innovative financing model, develop capital markets and mobilize private sector investment to boost economic activities in the country.
He was talking to a high-level delegation of Asian Development Bank in Islamabad on Friday.
The delegation comprised Executive Director Shahid Mahmood, Director General Werner E. Liepach, Director General (Private Sector Operations) Michael Barrow, and Country Director Ms. Xiaohong Yang.
Asad Umar acknowledged the ADB's support for development of Pakistan and discussed the priorities areas and new avenues for future interventions.
Executive Director of the Bank Shahid Mahmood reiterated the bank's commitment to further strengthen and expand its partnership with Pakistan.
Director General Werner E. Liepach, affirmed ADB's readiness to scale up its lending to Pakistan, including development policy credit and project financing.
Director General (Private Sector Operations) Michael Barrow highlighted that ADB is further committed to enhance its private sector operations in Pakistan through development of capital market and local currency financing.