ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to fill the vacant posts of economic ministers at Pakistani embassies in Washington, Tokyo, Beijing and London.

The economic ministers would play role in negotiation of free trade and preferential trade agreements and accords with different countries, including the United States, Japan, China and United Kingdom. The Ministry of Finance has sought nominations of suitable BS-20 and BS-21 officers to fill the vacant posts of economic ministers at the Pakistani embassies in Washington, Tokyo, Beijing and London. The tenure of each post shall be three years, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The government would conduct a written test for selection of economic ministers through the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore or the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

Economic ministers will keep themselves abreast of political economies of the United States, Japan, China and United Kingdom and send regular/periodic briefs to the Finance Division on all relevant developments/issues. They would also play their role in negotiation of free trade and preferential trade agreements and accords covering investments, double taxation avoidance and other financial services. Economic ministers would help the Government of Pakistan maintain a close liaison with institutional investors in the international capital markets as well as rating agencies based in these countries.

Washington, Tokyo, Beijing and London to get ministers

According to the notification, economic ministers would submit quarterly reports to the Finance Division, stating progress and achievements in the above mentioned areas through embassies of Pakistan.

The economic minister in the US would maintain liaison with the US Government departments, state departments, including USAID, the commerce, treasury and agriculture departments, the World Bank and the IMF, Eximbank and the secretariat of the US special fund. They will liaise with national/international NGOs based in the United States like Transparency International, Centre for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), Brookings Institute and other think tanks to improve coordination and understanding for Pakistan aimed at better outcomes for the country. They will represent Pakistan at international conferences in the US, the UN General Assembly, Special Fund, the Commission of International Commodity Trade, The International Cotton Advisory Committee and the annual meetings of IBRD, IFC and IMF. They would work for promotion of economic ties between Pakistan and other countries.

The economic minister in Japan would work for promotion of Pakistan-Japan economic ties. He/she would liaise with the funding agencies like JAICA to ensure a smooth relationship between Pakistan and Japanese funding agencies. He would coordinate between the two countries on bilateral trade or economic cooperation agreements and promote investment.