President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari Tuesday said that Pakistan needed a great boost in exports to improve its economy and urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to cooperate with the business community in that regard. He said this while talking to Director General Organization of Islamic Cooperation & Economic Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asma Rabbani during a meeting with her along with a delegation. Director ED Bilal Akram Shah and Assistant Director ED Hira Fatima were also present on the occasion. Ahsan Bakhtawari said that the close cooperation of Pakistani foreign missions with the private sector was the key to promote exports. He said that the Ethiopian Ambassador in Pakistan was very active in promoting business interests of his country and urged the ambassadors also work hard to explore new markets for exports. He said that ICCI was planning to promote tourism and intended to celebrate Africa Day to highlight exports potential for Pakistan in the African market, so MOFA should cooperate with ICCI in this regard. He also highlighted the importance of close links between the Chambers of Commerce and the Foreign Missions of Pakistan to improve the economy. Addressing the delegation, Asma Rabbani, DG OIC & ED, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lauded the role of the business community in the development of the economy. She said that a better understanding of the international market was important for promoting exports and assured that MOFA would cooperate with the business community for better access to the global market. She said that MOFA would act as a bridge between Pakistani missions and chambers of commerce for closer ties to promote business and economic interests of Pakistan in the international market. She stressed the need for strong linkages between MOFA, Ministry of Commerce, BOI and ICCI to improve Pakistan’s economy. She said that ICCI should prepare comprehensive proposals to promote Pakistan’s exports in Africa, Central Asia and other markets, which would be considered for implementation. Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI, said that Pakistan could improve its exports by focusing on product development, so MOFA should cooperate with the private sector in this regard. He shared useful proposals to improve olive oil export and meet the palm oil needs of Pakistan.