Pakistani Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque, noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in which Pakistan has played a pioneering role. Pakistan and China have maintained a strong relationship over the years, with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being a significant contributor to the economic development of Pakistan.
Ambassador Haque expressed optimism about the future, as more delegations from Pakistan are traveling to China for face-to-face meetings following the relaxation of Covid-related restrictions. He highlighted that CPEC has transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape over the past decade, with energy projects becoming growth drivers for the country. KTrade, a securities broker and think tank in Pakistan, revealed that CPEC had contributed to an increase in electricity access, with the percentage of the Pakistani population having access to electricity rising from 70.5% to 75.4% in just four years.
In addition, CPEC has contributed significantly to the development of transport infrastructure in Pakistan, with 809km out of the 2,790km operational motorways in Pakistan being a result of CPEC, and a further 813km under construction. This has enhanced the country’s cross-border connectivity, with 68% of Pakistan’s future motorways expected to come from CPEC.
Trade, investment, and industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China are also key factors in the countries’ progress, according to Pakistan’s Commercial Counsellor to China, Ghulam Qadir. He highlighted the significant potential for beef exports to China, a market worth over $10 billion, and the joint study between the Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan and China to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
Furthermore, Ambassador Haque expressed hopes for Pakistan to become a hub of Chinese manufacturing, with the aim of filling the productivity gap between Pakistan and China in agriculture and food processing. He also mentioned the potential to add value to base metals produced in Pakistan, such as copper, by exporting copper products such as cathodes, wires, bars, and rods to China.