Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday underscoring the growing significance of geo-economics in international politics stated that economic diplomacy had assumed centre stage in modern diplomatic practice. As part of the government’s efforts to promote economic diplomacy, he was chairing a virtual meeting on economic diplomacy with participation by Pakistan’s envoys in Central and South Asian countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives and Nepal. The foreign minister highlighted the government’s paradigm shift from geo-politics to geo-economic cooperation, and urged the envoys to make concerted efforts to implement the government’s economic agenda. He briefed the envoys about his fruitful interaction during his recent visits to Central Asian countries, a press release issued here by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The foreign minister expressed the hope that peace in Afghanistan could contribute towards further deepening of Pakistan’s economic ties with Central Asia. With regard to extending maximum facilitation to the Pakistani Diaspora he apprised the envoys of the launching of the FM Portal. Foreign Minister Qureshi asked the envoys to cultivate and broaden mutually beneficial trade and economic partnerships with Central and South Asian countries, with enhanced focus on trade promotion, investments, employment creation, tourism, technology transfer, energy cooperation and regional connectivity. He highlighted the geo-strategic significance of Pakistan as it offered a massive opportunity to serve as a regional transit hub. The foreign minister also asked the envoys to showcase the investment potential of the country and instructed them to work on removing bottlenecks that hinder expansion of economic collaboration with host countries and identifying new sectors for promotion of economic cooperation. During the meeting, the envoys apprised the foreign minister of their respective Missions’ activities in the economic and commercial domains. They also shared their action plans to deepen Pakistan’s economic footprint in their countries of accreditation. In keeping with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision, Foreign Minister Qureshi has consistently stressed on promotion of economic diplomacy and increased economic cooperation with partner countries. Regular virtual meetings and interactions on economic diplomacy with Pakistani envoys in key capitals are part of these efforts. This was the seventh meeting of the series.