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BRF can lead Pakistan-China relations towards progress and prosperity: FPCCI President

By Du Mingming, Morag Hobbs, Zhao Duo, Liu Ning (People's Daily Online)    17:40, April 26, 2019

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is currently in full swing in Beijing, welcoming leaders of nations and businesses from all over the world to China’s capital city to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In an exclusive interview with People’s Daily Online, Daroo Khan, President of The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) explained that the BRI has helped open Pakistan up to investment, and is looking forward to furthering ties between the two countries.

On President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at this year’s BRF, Khan noted he was especially impressed at the ways in which the BRI has so far helped to alleviate poverty and how Xi plans to use the initiative to integrate the world.

Pakistan-China relations have a long and friendly history, which has gone from strength to strength since the BRI was first proposed in 2013. “The BRF is a good platform. It’s a great opportunity to see and discuss the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Forum will also highlight the significance of the BRI in the global economic development,” Khan explains.

(Photo: Wang Tianle/People's Daily Online)

During the interview, Khan said that there is enormous potential for trade between Pakistan and China, noting "the cooperation can lead the countries towards progress and prosperity.”

The BRI has dramatically improved Pakistan’s investment and trade. According to Khan, Pakistan’s investment inflow has now crossed $2.5 billion, up from $889 million a few years back, while “China has invested almost $62 billion in Pakistan in various projects.”

He notes that current bilateral interaction spans over social economic, technological and cultural cooperation. “For example, the two countries have organized bilateral exchange in radio and television,” he noted.

Furthermore, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) recently set up a branch in Pakistan, Pakistan’s University of Modern Languages and Xinjiang University jointly established the Normal International Center for Education, and the China Cultural Center in Pakistan has also been established.

In light of these examples, Khan notes that going forward, both countries should pay more attention to people-to-people relations, saying, “Both countries should develop a mechanism for Chinese and Pakistani to learn Urdu and Chinese respectively.”

Pakistan hopes to see the BRI used as a public good, where everyone has a right to be involved and reap the benefits, Khan noted, adding that he is optimistic that this year’s BRF will connect the infrastructure of developing countries and facilitate deeper economic integration between nations, “to increase shared contribution towards shared benefits,” he said. 

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(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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