Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade and Investment Abdul Razaq Dawood has said that he is the representative of industrialists in Islamabad and will resolve all their genuine problems on priority basis. The PM’s Advisor was talking to industrialists and businessmen of Punjab who called on him and Provincial Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal at Civil Secretariat here on Saturday. Problems facing industrialists, industrialization and other issues were discussed during the meeting. Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal gave a detailed briefing on the promotion of industrialization in Punjab and future strategy. Talking to the industrialists, Advisor to Prime Minister Abdul Razaq Dawood said that duty on import on raw material for industries is being reduced by 6 percent from January 1st. The reduction of import duty on raw materials will benefit industry. He said that industrialists should give suggestions for long-term planning of industrialization. State-of-the-art testing lab should also be established. He said that it should be given the status of an industrial estate where industries are located so that industry could take benefit. Abdul Razaq Dawood said that the business community should take benefit of the government’s temporary economic refinance facility for importing machinery and the scheme of the federal government worth Rs. 100 billion would continue till March 31st, 2021. Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said that mapping has been done in collaboration with urban unit for setting up new industries in Punjab. New economic hubs will also be made in the province. He said that for the first time in the history of Punjab 4 special economic zones are being set up in the private sector. The new cement plant will bring investment of Rs. 6 billion. 2 hundred and 33,000 children have been enrolled in TEVTA institutions for technical education, he added. Mian Aslam Iqbal said that inspector less regime has been prepared and will be introduced soon. New industrial estates are also being set up throughout the Punjab, he concluded. Secretary Industries Wasif Khursheed, Chairman PIEDMC Nabeel Hashmi, President Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lahore Mian Tariq Misbah and presidents of other various chambers of the Punjab were also present in the meeting. Trade diplomacy: Former chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Agriculture, Ahmad Jawad has said that trade diplomacy is only a ray of hope to increase exports and the new leadership of FPCCI should focus on trade diplomacy keeping in view the prevailing situation and play supportive role in this connection. In a statement issued on Saturday, Ahmad Jawad said Pakistan’s best bet for exports in the next five years is trade diplomacy, in the following ways: seek FTA with UK after post Brexit and negotiate long-term trade arrangement with the USA including on board the officials of US Chamber of Commerce too; negotiate a favourable free-trade agreement with Turkey and African markets and improve regional connectivity, in particular with Afghanistan and Iran. He said, as economic and trade diplomacy is a diverse practice and an evolving subject which generally involves three kinds of negotiations – trade, investment and development cooperation. The meaning, forms and ways of economic diplomacy vary from nation to nation, depending on their levels of economic development. At the same time, each country is redefining its economic value proposition in the rapidly changing dynamics of economic gravity towards a multipolar setting that tilts towards Asia. The dynamics of globalisation and emerging regional markets have challenged traditional diplomatic practices by forcing countries to increase their sphere of influence through engaging with a wide range of partners. The former chairman FPCCI Standing Committee stated a example that even after ten years after getting approval for zero rating duty under the generalised system of preferences and investing high hopes in the US market, Pakistani mangoes are failing to make any impact. Exporters have not been able to access a major market which spends well over $0.5bn on imports. Similarly, he said Pakistan Foreign Office needs to review incentive structures to send its best envoys to countries with a promise to engage on economic terms. Major investment will be required to groom the skills of diplomats specialising in economic diplomacy. At the institutional level, there are too many cooks dealing with investors; this needs to be urgently streamlined. Several countries have merged the functions of trade ministries with foreign missions where ambassadors have been given clear targets regarding the delivery of commercial deals.