Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary held an exclusive session with the heads and representatives of leading Chinese Think Tanks and emphasized the importance of Pakistan China relationship and reaffirmed Pakistan All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership with China, which is time-tested and timeless.
The Minister reiterated that as the flagship of BRI, CPEC had strategic significance for both Pakistan and China and has delivered tangible benefits to the people of the two countries.
He noted that CPEC early-harvest projects have transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape thus laying a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth.
The Minister emphasized that both China and Pakistan should continue to expedite efforts to achieve Gwadar’s potential as a hub of regional commerce and industry, while also prioritizing work on ML-1 and other key energy projects.
He appreciated China’s positive and key role in helping to normalise relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This will give great impetus to regional peace and trade.
Ukraine war has proven that conflicts bring shocks for the entire world. Pakistan has seen conflicts too closely therefore it appreciates China’s role in promoting global peace and stability.
Ahsan Iqbal said that China has become Pakistan’s largest investment and trade partner in the last ten years due to CPEC, and both sides are keen to maintain the momentum of overall economic and trade ties in future as well.
The next phase of CPEC envisages industrial cooperation and Business to Business links.
The Minister appreciated the interest of the Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan, highlighting deepening economic and trade ties between the two countries, he sought ideas and suggestions from Chinese think tanks about steps to create conducive environment for Chinese investment in the export-oriented industries in Pakistan and development of Pakistani SEZs and industries on the Chinese model.
He underscored the need to learn from the Chinese experience of export sector development as a permanent solution to Pakistan’s economic crisis lies in fast and speedy growth of exports.
He highlighted the need for joint research projects for Pakistani and Chinese businessmen by think tanks of the both countries for identifying opportunities of mutual cooperation and removing knowledge gaps.
He said 2023 is year of CPEC’s decade and a delegation of Chinese scholars will be invited to Pakistan to observe the progress of CPEC.
The think tanks appreciated Minister’s views and shared their ideas for building Pakistan-China Community of shared future in the New Era.