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HomeThink-TanksPakistanInfluential Think Tank ISSI Drives Dialogue on AfCFTA through Round Table Discussion

Influential Think Tank ISSI Drives Dialogue on AfCFTA through Round Table Discussion


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In a collaborative effort, the African Missions in Pakistan and the Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) organized a Round Table Discussion to shed light on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The event, held in commemoration of Africa Day 2023 in Pakistan, aimed to explore the immense potential for economic cooperation and trade between Pakistan and Africa.

Distinguished speakers at the event included H.E. Mohammad Karmoune, the Dean of African Group/Ambassador of Morocco; Mr. Javed Ahmad Umerani, Additional Secretary (Africa) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Wankele Mene, Secretary General of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Accra, Ghana; Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, Director General ISSI; Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI; and Ms. Amina Khan, Director CAMEA.

Pakistani and African Representatives Explore Economic Prospects and Strengthen Trade Relations

The event witnessed the participation of Heads of African Missions in Pakistan, Heads of Pakistan Missions in Africa, senior officers from the Foreign Office and Ministry of Commerce, academics, area specialists, business community members, and students.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, in his welcome remarks, highlighted the steady growth of Pakistan’s engagement with Africa.

Ambassador Mohammed Karmoune, delivering the keynote address, emphasized Africa’s significant role in driving inclusive growth and sustainable development worldwide. He highlighted that the AfCFTA represents the collective will of 54 African countries to establish a common market for goods and services, foster the Continent’s development, and enhance intra-African trade. Ambassador Karmoune stressed the potential for collaboration between African and Pakistani business communities to capitalize on numerous opportunities in Africa, thereby strengthening Pakistan-Africa trade relations.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, in his welcome remarks, highlighted the steady growth of Pakistan’s engagement with Africa. He mentioned Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” policy, which aims to expand diplomatic ties and forge a robust economic partnership with the Continent.

Ambassador Mahmood emphasized the importance of raising awareness among business communities and potential investors on both sides about the opportunities presented by AfCFTA. He emphasized the need for a continuous flow of information and dynamic interface among key stakeholders in Pakistan and Africa.

Director CAMEA, Amina Khan, emphasized the growth potential AfCFTA holds for the African economy. She underscored that the agreement provides fresh avenues for Pakistan to enhance trade and investment connections with African nations, paving the way for increased business opportunities and stronger economic relations between the two regions.

Mr. Javed Ahmad Umrani, Additional Secretary (Africa) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hailed AfCFTA as a historic milestone, uniting African nations under a single market and fostering economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering support for AfCFTA’s objectives and aspirations, expressing the country’s commitment to deepening economic engagement and forging stronger trade links with African partners.

H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, acknowledged the progress made since the inception of AfCFTA, with 47 countries ratifying their agreements and implementation in full swing. He emphasized how AfCFTA serves as a vital tool to realize the vision of an integrated Africa.

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The interactive discussion that followed allowed representatives from African Missions in Pakistan and Pakistani Missions in Africa to emphasize the importance of AfCFTA and discuss ways to strengthen economic ties. Updates and suggestions were shared on enhancing trade, economic cooperation, investment, and people-to-people exchanges.

Ambassador Rashidally Sobadar of Mauritius, in his vote of thanks, emphasized Africa’s vast potential, including its young population and abundant mineral resources and agricultural land. He stressed the importance of investment through AfCFTA, which facilitates the free movement of goods and people, leading to prosperity and a brighter future for Africa.

In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman of the BoG ISSI, emphasized the need for Pakistan to understand and harness the opportunities presented by AfCFTA. He underscored the significance of Pakistan’s deeper engagement with Africa through its “Engage Africa” Policy.

The Round Table Discussion on AfCFTA served as a platform to further strengthen the economic relations between Pakistan and Africa, aligning with Pakistan’s pivot to geo-economics. As both regions recognize the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration, efforts continue to tap into the full potential of Pakistan-Africa economic relations.

M Moiz
M Moiz
M Moiz, is Research Student at Islamabad research Institute and work with THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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