Democracy Indispensible For Future of Pakistan:Daureeawo

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High Commissioner of Mauritius talks to DNA and Centreline
Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Mr. Mohammad Rashad Daureeawo is Bar at Law from Middle Temple University London. His experience includes post final practical training course in 1870 at council of legal education, call to bar 1971 at Middle Temple, board member the Mauritius broadcasting corporation, Chairman of National Pension Board, Chairman of Mauritius Society of Authors, Chairman of Mauritius Ministry of Social Security, Member Law Reforms Commission, ex director Mauritius housing Co, Ltd etc. He talked about a variety of issues including bilateral relations. Here are excerpts from his interview.

1: Let us begin with Pakistan, Mauritius relations. How would you describe political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries?
Pakistan-Mauritius relationship has been based on shared culture, tradition, language and religion. However, during the past few years there has been a boost in our relations especially on the trade front. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1969. Mauritius and Pakistan have since developed an institutional framework for bilateral collaboration in various areas:

i. Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters;
ii. MOU between State Trading Corporation Mauritius and Trading Corporation of Pakistan;
iii. MOU on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Matters;
iv. MOU between Small Enterprises and Handicraft Development Authority (SEHDA);
v. Mauritius and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Pakistan;
vi. MOU between Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Mauritius Standards Bureau (MSB); and
vii. MOU between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Enterprise Mauritius (EM).

The Preferential Trade Area (PTA) between Mauritius and Pakistan was signed on 30 July 2007 in Mauritius. The objectives of the PTA are mainly to strengthen the economic and commercial relationship and to increase the volume of trade in goods and services between the two countries. Under the PTA, tariff concessions have been granted on a list of products of export interest to both countries, which will allow our local operators to trade with Pakistan on preferential terms. An agreement for twining of the city of Port Louis and Karachi was signed on 30 April 2007 in Karachi. A bilateral Air Service agreement was signed in November 1979 and an MoU signed in 1999.
Are you satisfied with the current trade volume between the twocountries? How it can further be improved? Can you share with our readers your personal efforts that you have made to strengthen Pakistan-Mauritius relations?

Since my appointment in Islamabad as a High Commissioner, six months ago, I have been visiting Chambers of Commence and Industries in Pakistan for the purpose of boosting the trade volume between Pakistan and Mauritius. We want to further strengthen economic ties with Pakistan through the expansion of already signed Preferential Trade Agreement in various fields.
For this purpose I visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce, Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Gujrat Chamber of Commerce, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce, Board of Investments and Federation of Chamber of Commerce in Pakistan. During my visits I reiterated that Mauritius, being a gateway to Africa, has huge scope for Pakistani in several commodities and goods such as Furniture, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Tiles & Saintaryware, Carpets and Mangoes and these marvellous opportunities must be tapped.
I urged for systematically constructive collaboration between the Chambers of Commence in Pakistan and Chambers of Commerce in Mauritius. Mauritius tops World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking because it is not only the tax regime that is very soft and encouraging but there is no obstructive red tapism in the country and any foreign company can get registration in just three days time after due compliance and formalities. I proposed to Pakistani investors to take benefit from this opportunity and help in increasing the trade volume and relations

How do you see business climate in Pakistan? What you think government needs to do to further make the investment environment conducive for foreign investment?

There exists no doubt enormous potential and attractive business opportunities in Pakistan. The major concern of the foreign investors seems to be mainly the law and order situation for a conducive business and investment environment. The current political situation has created a “Wait and See” attitude from businessmen generally.

5. What prospects Pakistani businessmen would have in case they would like to invest in Mauritius?

Mauritius offers a legal framework for a speedy resolution of trade-related through the mechanism of arbitration and mediation. I believe that Pakistani businessmen can get fruitful results by investing in Mauritius on a win-win situation.

6. Mauritius is an attractive tourist attraction. What would you suggest to Pakistan as to how can we develop our tourism and benefit from your experience?

Pakistan’s attraction range from the ruin of civilisation such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Taxila, to the Himalayan hill stations. Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7000 m, which attracts adventurers and mountaineers from around the world, especially K2 (also known as Mount Godwin-Austen). The north part of Pakistan has many old fortresses, ancient architecture and the Hunza and Chitral valley, home to small pre-Islamic Animist Kalasha community claiming descent from Alexander the Great. The romance of the historic Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is timeless and legendary, Punjab province has the site of Alexander’s battle on the Jhelum River and the historic city Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital, with many examples of Mughal architecture such as Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and the Lahore Fort. As can be seen Pakistan has a great potential for tourism, and it is desirable that this sector be given a boost by government authorities.

7. Your impressions about Pakistan?

All well-wishers of Pakistan pray that the law and order situation improves like all observers and members of the diplomatic community, I am keen to follow closely the forthcoming general elections. Democracy is indispensable for future progress and economic prosperity of Pakistan.