On 9 December, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto pushed the world to “move away” from its stereotypical image of Pakistan and look at the country as a “promising” and rising market “full” of opportunities. This comes as Bilawal met Singapore President Halimah Yacob during his visit to the country, where the two spoke of the need for the international community to see Pakistan from a “fresh” perspective. Bilawal said that he “strongly” believed that the country offers countless opportunities to the world and that the first step to embark on the opportunities starts from lifting the “travel advisories” against Pakistan.
He reiterated that the world needs to look at Pakistan “more objectively” and that Pakistan wanted to enhance its ties with the Southeast more proactively and revitalise its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), specifically in the technical and vocational education sector. He said that the recent programmes of the association are rendered to be of “great interest” to the country and would “unlock” vast trading and investment opportunities for the country and other emerging economies of the world.
Bilawal also emphasised that the two leaders invited the progress in bilateral relations between the two, and expressed the wish to integrate cooperation and people-to-people contacts in the countries. He said that the two offices decided to “unlock” the potential for economic cooperation and promised collaboration in the areas of agriculture, digital economy and digital finance. (“Bilawal tells world to break ‘stereotypes’ about Pakistan,” Dawn, 10 December 2022)