The opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation took place in Beijing, where Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar delivered a compelling speech.
Kakar’s address highlighted the significance of regional connectivity, emphasizing that it’s about more than just physical infrastructure; it’s about connecting people, cultures, and civilizations.
He applauded China’s unwavering commitment to shared prosperity and global development, recognizing it as a “pure manifestation of China’s commitment to common development, shared prosperity, and a bright future for the world.”
Kakar called for collective efforts to address global challenges, including climate change, the growing gap between developed and developing nations, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Strengthening Global Connectivity
The interim prime minister proudly proclaimed Pakistan’s active partnership in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and extended full support for it. He reflected on the monumental impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which saw the completion of nearly 50 projects worth $25 billion.
These projects encompassed modern highways, seaports, airports, and mass transit systems, revolutionizing Pakistan’s infrastructure and trade networks. Kakar emphasized that CPEC had not only enhanced infrastructure but also innovation.
He expressed hope that CPEC would prioritize environmental protection, food security, agricultural modernization, and green development.
Kakar’s Vision for CPEC’s Next Phase
Kakar unveiled the next phase of CPEC, emphasizing its transformation into a corridor of growth, linking economies, creating opportunities, and providing access to global markets. He envisioned a world where rural farmers could access regional markets, students in remote villages could receive world-class education, and small business owners could trade seamlessly across regions.
The prime minister highlighted the surge in energy capacity brought about by CPEC, with over 8,000 megawatts of new electricity injected into the grid and plans for an additional 10,000 megawatts of clean energy projects in the coming years. This surge had positively transformed Pakistan’s industrial and residential sectors.
Pakistan’s commitment to becoming a trade, transit, and transshipment hub was evident, with the seaport of Gwadar playing a pivotal role in facilitating cargo ships and transshipment to regional countries.
Kakar announced the upcoming inauguration of a new international airport in Gwadar, further enhancing its significance as a regional trade gateway. He also emphasized that CPEC would be developed as a corridor of livelihood, with dividends reaching the common people, improving their living standards, creating jobs, and addressing poverty.
Kakar welcomed other nations and partners to join hands in this transformative venture, underlining the importance of global cooperation in addressing the challenges facing humanity.
International Collaboration and Russia’s Perspective
Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the forum, stressed the importance of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation to achieve comprehensive, sustainable, and long-term economic progress.
Putin praised the Belt and Road Initiative as a fair platform for global cooperation. Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also highlighted China’s role in ensuring global security and the Belt and Road Initiative as a popular project for international cooperation.
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In a separate meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Kakar discussed various aspects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Kakar expressed confidence in the expansion of CPEC into new areas of development, including industrial projects, mining, minerals exploration, and agriculture.
Kakar highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to making Gwadar a hub of regional trade and connectivity and emphasized the importance of deepening political, economic, education, science and technology, cultural, and people-to-people relations with China.
Kakar also witnessed the signing of several memorandums of understanding and agreements in areas ranging from commerce and communication to food security and vaccine development, further strengthening the ties between the two nations.