ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong on Monday said that after overcoming the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, China and Pakistan can find more solid ground on Belt and Road Initiative cooperation.
He was addressing the online award ceremony organised by Chinese embassy, Islamabad for outstanding Pakistani staff of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. CPEC Authority Chairman General (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Mr Nong Rong attended the online award ceremony. The 18 outstanding Pakistani staff from Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and other fields of the CPEC construction received award for their outstanding performance.
While addressing the ceremony Chinese ambassador said, “Due to COVID-19, we have to hold an on-line ceremony this year. I would like to extend my warm congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to all those who have won the award for your excellent service.”
Chinese ambassador said that CPEC is an important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a demonstration project of China-Pakistan cooperation. It is significant to deepen China- Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership for the building a closer community of shared future, and the realisation of high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
During the past 5 years, since President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, the CPEC has achieved great success and made tremendous contributions to the development of Pakistan and regional connectivity under the joint efforts of the governments, enterprises, and all walks of life from both countries. The Chinese envoy said, “Based on consensus of both governments, we further expand the CEPC cooperation from Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure development and industrial cooperation to new areas of agriculture, science and technology, social economy and international cooperation.”
Nong Rong said, in this year, the CPEC projects had achieved major progress despite the adversity challenge brought by COVID-19 pandemic. It has supported Pakistan’s drive in the fighting against COVID-19, ensuring economic stability, and well-being of the people. It has also continued to train high-quality talents for the country.
He said that the transit trade for Afghan goods through Gwadar Port has been officially launched, helped the sustainable supply of daily necessities for people of Pakistan and Afghanistan during COVID-19 period.
“China and Pakistan further promoted industrial cooperation with the signing of the Development Agreement of Rashakai Economic Zone. We have also completed a number of environment-friendly social economic projects such as the expansion work of Faqur School in Gwadar, China-Pakistan Friendship Forest, aid of disaster relief facilities, donation of cold-chain vaccine storage and transportation equipment in a timely manner.”
Chinese Ambassador said it is fair to say that both sides have overcome the difficulties of the COVID-19 and made new head ways of cooperation in a coordinated way. In this year, there is no stop of the construction, no job cut, no withdrawal of workforce of the CPEC projects.
CPEC Authority General Chairman (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that every Pakistani is in romance of CPEC because now they can see its fruits. They are getting jobs and new business opportunities, which is improving their living standard, he added.
He said that COVID-19 didn’t affect the speed of CPEC projects and both sides of Pakistani and Chinese employees made it possible with their hard work. He appreciated the award winners Pakistani employees.
Asim Saleem Bajwa said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is equally important for both countries. “This will bring the Pakistan and China more closer. With this project the investment in private sector of both countries would increase,” he added.