Monday July 22, 2024

CPEC moot highlights strategic significance, future prospects

Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Karim Kundi was chief guest of conference

By Our Correspondent
July 11, 2024
Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Karim Kundi.— APP/file
Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Karim Kundi.— APP/file 

ISLAMABAD: The International Conference on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), themed “CPEC: Enhancing Community with a Shared Future for Mankind,” was held in Islamabad, bringing together distinguished guests, experts, and policymakers to explore the vast potential and strategic significance of CPEC.

The conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, the Communication University of China, and the Pakistan Research Centre for a Community with a Shared Future.

Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Karim Kundi, the chief guest of the conference, described CPEC as a game changer that will revolutionise the industrial sector and create new growth opportunities. He acknowledged the pivotal role of President Asif Ali Zardari in CPEC’s inception and highlighted the project’s potential to transform the lives of millions through technological collaboration with China. Governor Kundi reaffirmed the time-tested friendship between China and Pakistan and expressed optimism about CPEC’s positive impact on the regional economy.

Ambassador Jiang Zaidong underscored China’s commitment to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. He detailed China’s efforts in promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and the significant achievements of CPEC, which have brought substantial economic benefits to Pakistan, including $25.4 billion in direct investment and the creation of 236,000 jobs. Ambassador Jiang reaffirmed China’s readiness to collaborate with Pakistan on further enhancing CPEC’s scope and impact, contributing to regional and global prosperity.

Secretary of Planning Awaus Manzur Sumra reflected on the achievements of CPEC Phase I and outlined the ambitious scope of Phase II, which includes proposals for five new corridors focusing on growth, livelihood enhancement, innovation, green development, and regional connectivity. He stressed the importance of agricultural modernization, science and technology cooperation, and job creation in driving Pakistan’s socio-economic development. Mr. Sumra highlighted ongoing projects like the development of Gwadar Port and the Free Trade Zone, which are pivotal for regional trade and economic integration.

Muhammad Asim Khan, Head of Development Communication at the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, highlighted the strategic significance of CPEC and its transformative impact on Pakistan’s infrastructure and energy sectors. He outlined the conference’s objectives, including fostering cooperation on industrial relocation, transport infrastructure, and environmental sustainability. Mr. Khan emphasised the socio-economic benefits of CPEC Phase II, which focuses on human development, agricultural cooperation, and regional integration. He expressed gratitude to all participants and emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts in realising CPEC’s potential.

Senator Sarmad Ali, speaking on “The Role of Media in Enhancing Regional Connectivity under the Framework of BRI,” emphasised the pivotal role of media in shaping perceptions, fostering understanding, and bridging cultures. He called for media cooperation among BRI partner countries to defend the truth and promote people-to-people connectivity. Senator Ali highlighted China’s peaceful diplomacy and its vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. He underscored the media’s role in promoting China’s global development cooperation and the importance of media organisations working together to advance the Belt and Road Initiative’s goals. Senator Ali stressed the need for media cooperation to counter negative narratives and misinformation, fostering mutual respect and understanding.

Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director of the Pakistan Research Centre for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF), inaugurated the conference by emphasising the transformative role of CPEC in fostering regional connectivity and promoting a shared future for humanity. He highlighted PRCCSF’s efforts to enhance cultural exchange, research cooperation, and regional initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Mr. Akram called for closer coordination between Pakistan, China, and international institutions to advance mutual interests and build a global community of shared futures.

The conference featured three key sessions: “Strategic Significance and Infrastructure Development of CPEC,” discussing the historical context, strategic goals, and achievements of Phase I; “Cooperation Under the Framework of CPEC,” addressing topics such as industrial relocation, transport infrastructure projects, and environmental challenges; and “Socio-Economic Development and Regional Connectivity Under CPEC Phase II,” exploring new corridor proposals, agricultural cooperation, cultural exchange, and regional integration.

Participants gained a comprehensive understanding of CPEC’s strategic importance, engaged in networking opportunities, and contributed to policy recommendations for the successful implementation of CPEC projects. The conference fostered dialogue on innovative solutions to address challenges and leverage opportunities presented by CPEC.

The International Conference on CPEC underscored the project’s pivotal role in promoting regional development and global cooperation. Participants reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing the community with a shared future for mankind and expressed optimism about the continued success and expansion of CPEC.