Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said on Friday that to take the bilateral relation between Pakistan and China to the next level, business-to-business (B2B) cooperation and enhanced people-to-people (P2P) contacts should be promoted as a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said this while speaking at an event titled ''CPEC 2015-2019: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward,'' jointly organised by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, CPEC Economic Forum and Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM).
The seminar also marked the fourth anniversary of CPEC agreement between China and Pakistan (20 April 2015). Yao Jing said that as many as 26 new CPEC initiatives are underway. The focus of new CPEC investments will shift from G2G interactions to B2B and P2P cooperation, eventually encouraging the private sector investors from both the countries to play their part especially in the areas of industrial and social development, he added.
He said that all the developments that are taking place as part of CPEC show the trust and confidence of both countries in each other as it is the only bilateral initiative taken by the Chinese government whereas all other ventures undertaken under the BRI are multilateral. The energy projects under CPEC have contributed to a GDP increase of about 1% in Pakistan so far but the real dividends of the mega project will unfold with time, eventually helping in releasing economic pressures on Pakistan considerably, he claimed.
He further said that Pak-China relations have always been based on the principles of justice, fairness and shared destiny, and it is in this spirit that all CPEC ventures seek to extend Chinese progress to Pakistan through different development initiatives. The onus now rests with Pakistan on how it benefits from the opportunities coming forth and one way of doing this is to build its capacity and competitiveness in concerned areas.
The session was chaired by Mirza Hamid Hasan, former federal secretary and member IPS-National Academic Council. Other who spoke on the occasion included General Khalid Naeem Lodhi (retd), former federal defence minister, Dr Talat Shabbir, director, China Study Centre, ISSI, Ambassdor Tajammul Altaf (retd), senior research associate, IPS, Abid Sabri, executive director, PIM, Muhammad Arshad Qaim Khani, executive chairman, CPEC Economic Forum, Dr Syed Tahir Hjazi, vice chancellor, MY University Islamabad, and Dr Shazia Ghani, director CPEC and BRI, SASSI.