ISLAMABAD - The federal government has decided to form Economic Outreach Apex Committee to promote economic diplomacy.

Officials say a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf has been made focal person to promote economic diplomacy.

The meeting also decided to setup Economic Outreach Coordination Group to have a liaison with concerned federal ministries, provincial departments and other institutions to achieve the goals, Prime Minister Office Media Wing in a press release said.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said promoting economic diplomacy is need of the hour, which will not only strengthen bilateral relations with other countries but existing potential can also be exploited to the maximum level in the field of economy.

He directed Pakistan Missions abroad to give utmost attention to promote economic diplomacy. Imran Khan directed Chairman Board of Investment to ensure provision of all possible assistance to foreign investors, who show their interest to invest in various sectors of the country.

During the meeting, a roadmap over local potential with respect to promotion of economic diplomacy, the existing challenges and the steps to overcome those issues was also submitted before the prime minister.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Prime Minister’s advisors Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Abdul Razak Dawood, Prime Minister’s Special Assistants Dr Moeed Yousaf, Dr Faisal Sultan, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Board of Investment chairman, foreign secretary and other senior officials.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to prepare a time-frame based action plan for the medium and long-term projects to enhance agriculture produce in the country.

While presiding over a meeting to review progress on agriculture reforms and food security initiatives in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said ensuring food security is top priority of the government.

The Prime Minister directed to operationalise the Food Security Dash Board at Ministry of Food Security in collaboration with all provinces and relevant departments.

He also directed to pay special attention towards economic zones for the processing of agriculture produce.

Emphasizing on getting benefits from Chinese experience, the Prime Minister said technical expertise of Chinese should be fully exploited. He also directed to establish an integrated and coordinated system between all stakeholders including research institutions, universities and other concerned departments.

The meeting was briefed on the food security challenges in view of the growing population, current status of production of agricultural commodities and progress on the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Program.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his deep appreciation for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for once again raising his voice in support of the rights of Kashmiri people during address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

In a tweet on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said Turkey’s unwavering support remains a source of strength for the Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle for self-determination.

A day earlier, the Turkish president raised the Jammu and Kashmir issue in his address to the UNGA, calling for the resolution of the decades-old dispute between Pakistan in India in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Addressing the 193-member gathering on Tuesday, Erdogan reminded the international community that the Kashmir dispute was still a “burning issue”, while the unilateral steps taken by India on August 5 last year further complicated the problem. “The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue,” Erdogan said. “Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu-Kashmir further complicated the problem,” he added. “We are in favour of solving this issue through dialogue, within the framework of the United Nations resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir,” the Turkish leader said.