Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi held a meeting with African envoys based in Islamabad
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with African diplomats based in Islamabad to boost Pakistan’s engagement with Africa.
Held under the rubric of the Government’s “Engage Africa” initiative, the meeting was attended by envoys from Algeria, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Sudan and Tunisia.
Recalling the long history of close friendly relations with Africa, Foreign Minister Qureshi noted that Pakistan had supported African struggle of freedom from the yoke of colonialism and remained a trustworthy partner in the maintenance of peace and security with the Continent.
As part of “Engage Africa” Initiative, Pakistan is significantly enhancing its diplomatic footprint and economic engagement in Africa.
“The success of the Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference, held in January 2020 in Nairobi, highlighted the untapped potential of bilateral trade and investment ties”, and underscored the mutual desire to take them to a higher level, he said.
Pakistan’s trade with Africa
Pakistan had recorded a 7% growth in trade with Africa over the last year, despite the COVID-19 related social and economic challenges. Pakistan’s trade with African countries reached US$4.18 billion in 2019-20. In January 2020, the country held its first ever Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference in Nairobi.
The foreign minister also informed the participants about the virtual meeting with Pakistan’s Heads of Mission in African capitals during which he had encouraged them to cultivate and broaden mutually beneficial partnerships with African countries, focusing on trade, investments and tourism.
Meeting with Pakistani diplomats in Africa
A day earlier, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s held a third virtual meeting with Pakistan’s heads of missions in Abuja, Addis Abba, Algiers, Nairobi, Tripoli, Port Louis, Rabat, Pretoria, Niamey, Khartoum, Dar es Salam, Dakar, Harare and Tunis.
Noting the importance of Africa as the “continent of future”, with 54 countries and a population of 1.3 billion, the Foreign Minister said, Pakistan enjoyed friendly relations and political goodwill in African countries that needed to be translated into a more robust economic partnership.
Under its ‘Engage Africa’ initiative, Pakistan is focused on expanding its diplomatic footprint and deepening economic engagement with Africa.