CPEC from vision to reality”: Two-day international conference kicks off to mark 10 years celebrations

Share on Social Media

Islamabad, The two-day International conference, organized by the Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives in collaboration with Embassy of the Republic of China, kicked off on Monday with the theme “Decade of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) from vision to reality to mark the 10- year celebrations of CPEC.
The key objective of the conference is to bring together policymakers, scholars, practitioners, and other stakeholders to exchange ideas and insights related to economic, social, environmental and geopolitical impacts of CPEC and BRI. Chinese Charge d’ Affairs Ms Pang Chunxue was the chief guest on the first day of the conference. The conference was attended by the Secretary Planning Ministry, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Chief Economist of Pakistan, who is also Project Director, of CPEC, Dr Nadeem Javaid, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and hundreds of policy makers and experts were present at the first day of the conference.
Chief Economist of Pakistan, Dr Nadeem Javaid in his inaugural session said that the objective of the conference said that this conference revolves around, Socio-economic impact of CPEC and Opportunities for Industry Relocation, Prospect of Regional Connectivity and Technology Transfer, Enhance Cooperation for Security, Geopolitical Implications to overcome challenges and maximizing synergies in CPEC and BRI Initiatives, and People to People Connectivity.
While highlighting the overwhelming response from this conference, Dr Nadeem Javaid said that in response to the call for Papers, CPEC Secretariat has received 435 extended abstracts from more than 85 national and international institutes including universities, government departments, practitioners, think tanks, and entrepreneurs. Following a rigorous evaluation, 310 abstracts were shortlisted to be further scrutinized by the scientific committee and the Committee accepted 110 abstracts for full paper submissions. It is noted that all the accepted and presented papers will be published in the conference abstract book while selected papers will be published in the special issue of Pakistan Development Review PDR Journal after blind peer review and approval of the scientist committee.
During the first day of session, four technical sessions were held which include Socio-Economic impacts of CPEC, prospects of regional connectivity through Gwadar port, opportunities for Industrial Relocation and export and Green Technologies and Development.
Secretary Planning Ministry, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, in his address said that the conference will provide a platform to address concerns, evaluate risks, and explore avenues for mitigating any adverse impacts, ensuring that the benefits are equitably distributed among all stakeholders. While highlighting the flagship project of China’s visionary BRI, the Secretary said that it has emerged as a corridor of opportunity, traversing vast terrains to connect the warm waters of the Arabian Sea with the rich landscapes of China’s western regions. “Over the past ten years, the CPEC has made significant progress, with the completion of several infrastructure projects such as highways, ports, and power plants,” he remarked. These projects have improved connectivity between Pakistan and China, reduced transportation costs, and increased the efficiency of trade, he remarked, while reiterating the government’s commitment to complete the CPEC projects. Furthermore, he said that CPEC has sparked immense interest and debate globally, evoking curiosity about its potential to transform economies, improve infrastructure, enhance trade, and open doors to new horizons.
Speaking at the occasion, Chinese Charge d’ Affairs Ms Pang Chunxue in her address appreciated the government particularly, the Planning Ministry for the continuous support in the implementation of the CPEC projects. Reflecting on the decade of CPEC’s journey, Ms. Pang Chunxue praised the remarkable achievements made through the guidance of the leaders of both China and Pakistan. She recalled the historic visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in 2015, which accelerated the large-scale construction of CPEC.
She highlighted the importance of industrial cooperation under CPEC, with the establishment of Special Economic Zones SPZs as a fast-track project. These zones aim to enhance industrial development, benefit local communities, and create numerous job opportunities, she remarked.
Ms Pang emphasized that the success of CPEC is attributed to its adherence to the principles of the BRI. The project exemplifies openness, inclusivity, and mutual benefits, garnering support from the people of both China and Pakistan.
Highlighting the significance of the BRI on its tenth anniversary, Ms Pang lauded its positive contributions to economic development and poverty alleviation in numerous countries along the route. The initiative has become a prominent international cooperation platform, generating substantial investments and creating job opportunities.
“Under their joint efforts and leadership, CPEC will be further enhanced to elevate all-around cooperation to new heights,” she added, while reiterating the full support from China in the implementation of CPEC projects.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed announced several significant initiatives aimed at fostering collaboration between Pakistan and China in the field of higher education and research. These initiatives include future Chinese scholarships and cooperation with the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Mukhtar emphasized that the CPEC has evolved from a visionary concept to a reality of immense importance for both countries. He expressed his gratitude to the Government of the Republic of China for their unwavering support, leading to the agreement to establish a joint research center at a renowned university in Pakistan. The research center, spanning 50 acres of land, is set to open new avenues for groundbreaking advancements in various scientific disciplines.
The conference will conclude on today (Tuesday) in which Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal will be a chief guest. At the end of the conference, Souvenirs will be awarded to both Pakistani and Chinese companies who participated in the CPEC project, and a special coin has been prepared by the Planning Ministry.