China, Pakistan to Expand CPEC Cooperation in Key Sectors

Thu May 30 2024
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BEIJING: Chinese experts have highlighted the significant potential for enhanced economic development in Pakistan through strengthened cooperation in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

This cooperation is expected to open up new market opportunities for Chinese businesses.

Recent developments include the unveiling of five new corridors under CPEC, signaling Pakistan’s intent to revitalize cooperation within the BRI framework to boost its economy.

These corridors, such as the Growth Corridor and the Green Corridor, are seen as crucial milestones in Pakistan-China friendship and lay a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation, according to Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

Liu Xiaoxue, an associate research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, emphasized that the next phase of bilateral ties between China and Pakistan will focus on areas like agricultural technology, infrastructure upgrades, and quick-win projects. Strengthening regional cooperation, especially between Pakistan and China’s Western regions, is becoming increasingly important amid global challenges.

The CPEC, a flagship project under the BRI, has played a pivotal role in addressing Pakistan’s developmental challenges since its establishment in 2013. It has significantly improved infrastructure, industrialization, and social development in Pakistan, creating jobs and enhancing energy capacity.

Official data indicates that by the end of 2022, the CPEC had generated significant employment opportunities and contributed to the development of highways, electricity generation capacity, and core transmission networks in Pakistan.

Furthermore, the BRI has not only bolstered economic cooperation between China and Pakistan but has also attracted international attention and business opportunities to Pakistan, particularly in sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and new energy.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who has been actively seeking to revive China-Pakistan economic cooperation, is expected to visit China soon.

China’s commitment to upgrading the CPEC and supporting Pakistan’s economic growth, livelihood improvement, and green development was reaffirmed during a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Pakistani counterpart, Mohammad Ishaq Dar.

Both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation across various fields, including industry, agriculture, mining, new energy, and information technology, with an emphasis on advancing major connectivity projects to facilitate Pakistan’s development and leverage its geographical advantages.

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