Thursday, 14th November – Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University hosted a discussion on Pakistan’s relationship with the United States and its investment potential with Ambassador Ali J. Siddiqui, Pakistan’s Ambassador At-Large for Foreign Investment and former Ambassador to the United States.
The event hosted with Ambassador Siddiqui is a part of a series of talks designed to build cross-cultural dialogue and awareness by the Oxford South Asian Society. Previous talks from this series have hosted Rt. Hon. KP Sharma Oli – Prime Minister of Nepal and General Nasser Khan Janjua – former National Security Advisor of Pakistan among other notable leaders.
Speaking to an audience of students, professors and guests; Ambassador Siddiqui shared his personal experience and insights of serving in two key positions within the Pakistan Government. He shed light on his role as the Ambassador to the United States during an especially precarious period that followed President Trump’s New Year tweet against Pakistan, and the diplomatic efforts that eventually opened doors to a better mutual relationship. The moderator acknowledged that many foreign policy experts have recognized Ambassador Siddiqui’s role in bringing Islamabad and DC closer in an exceptionally short period of time.
Speaking on his current role as the Ambassador At Large for Foreign Investment, Ambassador Siddiqui emphasized the Government’s efforts to manage Pakistan’s perception in the global business community. He said that Pakistan holds enormous investment potential that remains untapped. Pakistan is improving its image as an investment hub and looks towards building stronger ties with the developing world. He stated that recent events including an investment of USD 240 Million by Hong Kong based Hutchinson Ports along with Pakistan’s 28 spot jump in the Ease of Doing Business rankings is indicative of growing investor confidence in the government.
An in-depth Q&A session followed to further understand geopolitical sensitivities from the lens of Pakistan Government. The event closed with a note of thanks to the Ambassador and a reiteration of its commitment to holding meaningful dialogues with pan-regional stakeholders to drive understanding and empathy across borders by the Oxford South Asian Society.