ISLAMABAD   -   The outgoing Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson reflected on Australia’s growing bilateral ties with Pakistan, as her posting in Islamabad comes to an end.

Speaking at a gathering of think tanks and members of media at the Pakistan Institute of Development Studies, Adamson said that Pakistan will celebrate its centenary in 2047 and people and government of Pakistan will need to make some major – and sometimes difficult – decisions to achieve its goals.

Reflecting on Pakistan’s future, her experiences and Australia’s relationship with Pakistan, Adamson said: “Our people-to-people links continue to grow with more than 60,000 Pakistani Australians who make a wonderful contribution to our vibrant and diverse culture. Pakistani Australians make up the largest of Australia’s Muslim communities. ”

She added: “I am confident that Pakistan has the capacity to reach that milestone as a prosperous, open, tolerant and inclusive upper middle-income country. The country’s youth bulge can be a demographic dividend that drives economic transformation. But achieving that requires a diverse set of reforms including improvements to the business environment and investment in first class infrastructure and education.”

About Australia’s strategic aid priorities in Pakistan, Adamson shared that Australia was helping Pakistan in efficient water management to improve agricultural productivity and climate change resilience. “Our aid project in Pakistan focuses on women’s economic empowerment which strengthens economic growth and increases well-being of families and communities. Australia and Pakistan are also working together on human rights challenges as current members of the United Nations Human Rights Council,” said the envoy.

Adamson said that she was pleased to see more and more Australian and Pakistani companies doing business with each other with education leading Australia’s services trade in Pakistan.