Golden development opportunities for Pakistan

The Chinese Ambassador Mr Nong Rong, in an OpEd published in Dawn under the title of “Golden development opportunities for Pakistan” on Monday highlighted how Pakistan could benefit from China’s rise in the economic arena.

He touched upon President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the recently held China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai – which according to him manifested “China’s confidence of cooperation with the international community”.

He started his piece off by mentioning a Chinese-speaking Pakistani jeweller’s success in selling sapphires and jewels at the expo. The jeweller became immensely popular among the Chinese businessmen that participated in the event.

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The ambassador believed that the level of confidence was only possible because of three major factors of which one was “China’s major strategic victory in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The Communist Party of China,” he added, “adheres to the people-centred policy and the life-first principle. From 30-hour-old babies to the elderly in the 100s, every life is fully protected.”

While shedding light on the economic turnaround of China’s economy post-Covid-19, Mr Rong said: “Positive economic growth has been achieved in the first three quarters. Foreign trade increased by 0.7pc and the actual use of foreign capital increased by 5.2pc, providing a big boost for the recovery of the global economy.”

While looking at the 13th and the 14th Five-Year Plan periods (2016-2020) and 2021-2025), which are a series of social and economic development initiatives issued since 1953 in the People’s Republic of China, he said that “China’s GDP will exceed RMB 100 trillion. As many as 55.75 million rural people have been lifted out of poverty, more than 60m new jobs have been created in urban areas. He said that China will achieve the goal of finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eradicating poverty.

Highlighting China’s vision of an unrestricted global economy where trade can thrive, Mr Nong Rong said: “What we envision is not a development loop behind closed doors, but more open domestic and international circulations.”

Which apparently seemed like a jibe at the US, he remarked that while some countries have chosen to pursue protectionism and set up trade barriers, China has chosen to strengthen cooperation and communication and expand opening up. Going forward, China will bring more opportunities for China-Pakistan cooperation, the ambassador stated.

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The opportunities include: synergising the development strategies of the two countries, the BRI cooperation; CPEC that has progressed rapidly under its umbrella in recent three years, and exports to China, and collaboration in poverty reduction.

The ambassador said that in the next five years, China will expand its domestic mega-market with robust consumption, promote the dual circulations at home and abroad. This will help Pakistan expand its exports to China, promote its economic recovery, and help to solve the problem of trade imbalance.

Praising Pakistan’s Prime Minister, he said, PM Khan attaches great importance to poverty reduction and has on several occasions spoken highly of China’s achievements in this aspect.

While mentioning President Xi’s declaration regarding setting up of a SCO joint working group on poverty reduction, he said “We will share our experiences in poverty reduction with Pakistan, and contribute to its poverty reduction drive through cooperation.”

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In his concluding message, Mr Nong Rong said: “Peace, development and win-win cooperation are beliefs both China and Pakistan uphold. Let’s follow the trend of the times to make full use of the golden opportunities of China’s development, and jointly work for a closer China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future in the New Era.”