QINGDAO (China): President Mamnoon Hussain Monday proposed the establishment of Pakistan-SCO Trade Transit and Energy Corridor to address the regional energy needs and open new trade routes in context of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Addressing a reception hosted by China-Pakistan Friendship Association and China International Cultural Communication Center in his honour, the president said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of One Belt One Road and its practical implementation in the form of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was equally beneficial for both the countries and their coming generations.
President Mamnoon was on his four-day visit to China to attend the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization held here in the coastal city of Qingdao of Shandong province from June 9-10.
The reception was attended by Secretary Foreign Affairs Tehmina Janjua, Ambassador of Pakistan in China Massood Khalid, President of China-Pakistan Friendship Association Ambassador Sha Zukang, Chairman of the China International Cultural Communication Center Long Yuxiang and Chinese businessmen.
He told the gathering that Pakistan was now the leading destination for private infrastructure investment in South Asia and was ranked fifth at the global level.
“Our GDP growth last year was the highest in the past decade which is remarkable in the face of global recession. Our success is founded on the steady supply of energy, investment in Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) and a remarkable progress in the agriculture sector,” he remarked.
He said through CPEC, the road and railway network of Pakistan would connect the countries of the region via the ports of Karachi and Gwadar to the rest of the world particularly South Asia.
He said Pakistan would welcome its Chinese brothers to take advantage of these grand opportunities and invest in textile manufacturing, infrastructure, petro-chemical, steel, agro-based, mining and automobile industries for mutual benefit. Chinese investment in these sectors and joint ventures with Pakistani partners would further energize these historic projects, he added.
“A favourable environment has been created in Pakistan in the past few years in the context of peace and security and investment,” he said.
He said Pakistan’s long term vision 2025 was the driving force of these developments. International financial institutions have also recognized the progress.
“Pakistan is becoming an attractive destination for global investment. I am confident that this trend will continue and further gain momentum after the elections next July,” President Mamnoon remarked.
He said the Belt and Road Initiative was a flagship project of this century and the realization of the grand vision to connect countries of our region through land and sea routes and create a new world.
He said the great project would also guarantee regional peace and security and hoped that the SCO and its member countries would join us in completing this mission.
Speaking high of Pakistan-China friendship, the president said the fraternal relations between the two countries and their cooperation was an example for the rest of the nations of the world to follow.
“We can learn from China’s constructive role. I am confident that by following China’s example, we will continue our road towards economic progress,” he hoped.
Terming the people to people contact as the basis of bilateral cooperation, he said currently more than 20,000 Pakistani young people were gaining education and skills development in China.
Considering the future requirements, the president proposed to establish the CPEC Universities Consortium to enable our people to learn each others languages, enhance student and teacher exchanges and joint research projects as well as initiate joint degree programme.
He said the two countries had already established sister relationship between the provinces and cities and proposed to further this partnership by celebrating 2019 as the year for promotion of sister province relationships.