Mission Economic

  2 min 10 sec to read
Mission Economic

It was with a pleasant surprise that the business community received the news of a report on economic diplomacy being submitted to the Prime Minister. Pleasant because the importance of economic diplomacy has finally dawned upon the government, and it was something the business community had been emphasizing for quite long. It is also surprising that it took so long for such a simple knowledge to dawn upon the government. More surprising is perhaps that the government is still bogged down in getting reports prepared about the policy than starting the work. It must be realized that the basis of the foreign policy of every government in the world is economic. Though they may claim that the basis of their foreign policy is human rights or things as pious as that, in practice they can be found guided me by the motive of maximizing economic benefit to their respective country than of maximizing the global social welfare. This is the reason why the western countries can be found unwilling to impose economic sanctions when some countries violate the human rights or test atom bombs. This also explains why Iraq gets attacked while Burma is left Scot- free irrespective or what the global popular opinion is.

More obvious examples can be found from within Nepal itself. When one observes the activities of the heads of the diplomatic missions of some friendly countries, they can be found active more in meeting with the business people here and holding workshops to attract students to the universities in their countries than meeting the government officials, political leaders and social activists. So much so that the diplomats of some countries were found some years ago in Nepal peddling drugs to earn some money for their country which was gradually becoming a pariah in the comity of nations. The foreign policy of the country concerned was more focused on exporting revolution than on exporting goods and services. That made their country almost bankrupt. In this context, the objectives of the Nepali missions abroad should logically be to work for maximizing the economic gain to the people of Nepal than anything else. Since they have to achieve this objective through diplomatic methods, they can still be called Diplomatic Missions, but in practice they have to be Economic Missions. The standard for their performance evaluation should be based more on economic achievements than on anything else, but with a caution that such gains should come through trade not through charity. Has the training institute affiliated to the Foreign Ministry started orienting our diplomats towards this vital issue?

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