Pakistan’s participation at the Evian group’s annual Multi stakeholder dialogue IV

The Evian group, based at the IMD in Lausanne, invited stakeholders across a wide spectrum to participate in forming Perspectives on Key 21st Century Challenges, the topic being “Demographics, Trade, Employment and Migration” from the 14th -16th September 2007. The objective of the Fourth Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue was to foster dispassionate discussion on the topic of demographics, trade, employment and migration, as a constructive step to seeking to find effective and humane solutions.

The Ambassador, Dr.Manzoor Ahmad and the Economic Counsellor, Ms.Shaista Sohail, from the Mission of Pakistan to the WTO were invited as speakers in two sessions. The Ambassador, Dr.Manzoor Ahmad was a speaker for the opening session titled “Demographics, Migration and Mobility: North – South Cooperation versus Confrontation in the Post Doha Age” while Ms.Sohail spoke in the panel titled “Perspectives and Expectations from Labour Surplus Countries”.

In his interventions, Dr.Ahmad made the following points, firstly, that “while negotiations were underway at the WTO relating to temporary movement of persons, the scope of these negotiations did not cover migration, permanent employment” . Secondly, any liberalization for movement of service providers would be a win-win situation for all members of the WTO as “according to some studies show that a 3% increase in immigration would have one and half time the expected gains compared with the removal of tariffs and other restrictions on goods”. He said that “If some through some miracle we could have a global labour market with no immigration controls, the worldwide GDP could double”. Thirdly, the Ambassador pointed out the current trends in fertility and mortality trends in the OECD countries as the driver of demand for migration.

He rounded off by providing some examples of solutions i.e. completion of the Doha round of Trade talks with an ambitious outcome that would remove discriminatory trade rules against developing countries; debt cancellation for all 62 heavily indebted countries and ; finally , a moratorium on sale of lethal weapons to such highly indebted countries.