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Pakistan support for BRI stays strong ahead of forum

By Zamir Ahmed Awan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-09 10:29
A worker examines a vehicle at the assembly line of the SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile (SGMW) plant in Cikarang, Indonesia, on March 14, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

As the Belt and Road Forum approaches, preparations are getting more visible. Beijing is to host a mega event, as many heads of states, world leaders are expected to attend it. As it is a biannual event, people hope a lot of expectations.

Since the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, a lot has changed. Connectivity has enhanced, Chinese investment has reached new heights, trade patterns have had visible alterations and much more is expected. The global economy is entering a new template where a "win-win" formula may prevail.

In recent years, China has emerged as a global economy and geopolitical power. Nations treat China with great importance and focus on what is happening there. The world expects a lot from this summit.

After Italy joined the initiative, perspectives on the BRI have changed in the EU. It is possiblee more EU countries may join the Belt and Road in the future.

Frankly speaking, this forum provides an excellent opportunity for those who are not convinced by the BRI to try to take a fresh approach, or contribute valuable ideas. This platform may be utilized to contribute to global harmony and development.

Pakistan is a close ally and neighbor, and is also well-prepared for the forum. Prime Minister Imran Khan will be in attendance, as Pakistan is a strong supporter of the BRI, and among the first nations to officially recognize the initiative. The country is also one of the BRI's six proposed economic corridors.

The Pakistan-China Economic Corridor is a flagship BRI project and one of the most advanced, with rapid development compared to the other five economic corridors.

The fruits of CPEC are enjoyed by the people of Pakistan in the form of growing GDP, increased economic activity, more jobs, better electricity, an improved network of motorways and better connectivity. Pakistan may be the biggest beneficiary of the BRI.

This will be the second visit by Khan to China within six months, after his last trip in November 2018. The visit will provide him a better understanding of the country, as he will meet leaders of China and develop close ties. A relationship based on mutual understanding is more solid and durable.

Pakistan and China are passing through a very critical situation. The nature of their challenges might be different, but each needs more cooperation and a strengthening of collaboration. We two support each other on all occasions and stand with each other in all difficult situations.

Khan is one of the most popular leaders in the Pakistan's history. He will lead Pakistan on the path of rapid development, which may lead to Pakistan joining the club of fastest-developing nations. Pakistan is a country with abundant natural resources, rich agriculture, a huge workforce, excellent climate, diversified topography and huge potential. It has overcome many security-related challenges and is ready to focus on economic prosperity.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist and non-resident fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.

  
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