News Desk |
Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized Islamabad’s agenda of maximizing investment potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, along with strengthening connectivity through the regional network of the Belt and Road project. Speaking at the Leader’s Roundtable Session of the Second Belt and Road Forum, held in Beijing on Friday, PM Khan called out member countries to establish a tourism corridor under the umbrella of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Radio Pakistan reported that PM Khan’s vision of a tourism corridor underscores an opportunity that would promote digital connectivity, exchange of developmental skills, mobility of labor, culture and information exchange, and most importantly, a surge of innovation and economic gains that would further boost the ambitions of the Belt and Road project.
PM Khan stressed that such an initiative would bring about marked improvements in regional connectivity for a tourism corridor that would preserve and promote cultural exchanges, allowing regional neighbors to strengthen their ties and access opportunities across BRI member states.
Digital Connectivity & Regional Cooperation Amongst BRI Members
PM Khan observed that “China is the fastest rising economy in the world” and Pakistan has a great deal to benefit from CPEC. “The whole country is behind CPEC and is supporting it”. He stated that initially CPEC was just a network of roads and power projects, but now, the Pak-China economic alliance has diversified and creating a tourism corridor would not only assist labor-deficient countries, but it would also promote connectivity amongst producers, corporations, skilled job seekers and consumers through a multitude of multi-lingual digital platforms.
PM Khan stressed the need for “digital connectivity amongst BRI member states” as an integral strategy in order to promote connectivity and the economic benefits of the Belt and Road initiative. He stated that Pakistan seeks help from China on poverty alleviation programme, investment in special economic zones as part of CPEC, and assistance in acquisition of superior scientific technology. PM Khan emphasized that Pakistan seeks to boost connectivity through the BRI network by promoting mobility of labor, establishment of cultural exchanges, and promoting exchange of innovation and knowledge.
Pakistan: A Promoter of Peace & Connectivity
Prime Minister Khan stated that Pakistan, throughout its history, has always promoted connectivity in the region by encouraging cultural and information exchanges, and commercial activities. He stressed that connectivity is an integral aspect of Pakistan’s heritage, and in the 21st century, it has manifested itself in the dynamic connectivity network of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Referring to China’s great strides in alleviating poverty, industrializing the nation and emerging as the fastest growing economy that is now connecting economies across the world through platform of the Belt and Road Initiative, PM Khan applauded the vision of President Xi Jinping that allows countries to share economic progress and prosperity by aligning their people and integrating their economy. He stressed that this a vision that Pakistan supports and respects.
PM Imran Khan observed that Pakistan had the privilege of becoming the earliest partner of China, and indeed, CPEC is not merely an economic transaction, but in fact, an initiative that will transform Pakistan across a wide spectrum of industries and spheres. PM Khan stressed that China will have access to shorter trade routes by connecting its Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which will also reduce the expense incurred by Chinese corporations and investors in the Western Chinese provinces.
PM Khan stressed that Pakistan is now “working to establish stability and peace” across the region and without peace and stability, economic progress is not achievable. While referring to Pakistan’s efforts of achieving a “peaceful political solution” in Afghanistan by getting the Taliban to engage in dialogue with the US and the Afghan government.
He stressed that Pakistan is hopeful of peace and stability in Afghanistan because the political climate of Afghanistan impacts Pakistan’s border areas. He noted that Pakistan has “decent” relations with Iran, and seeks to strengthen its ties with Tehran. “The only problem is our relationship with India but we are hoping that after the Indian elections, we will again resume our talks with India to have civilized relations with our neighbor”.
During his addressed to the 37 heads of states and government officials present at the second Belt and Road Forum, PM Khan emphasized the need for promoting people-to-people interaction, inter-cultural connectivity, anti-corruption programs, poverty alleviation strategies, and liberalized trade and investment terms that encourage collaboration amongst investors, corporations and private sectors of BRI member states across the world.
He said, “As the Belt and Road Initiative takes a further concrete shape, I suggest we direct our efforts and focus on the peoples of our countries, and towards addressing impediments on their way to sustainable growth”.