ISLAMABAD — National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) and Bahria University jointly organized an international seminar on July 07, 2023, titled “CPEC – The Road to Prosperity and Growth Amidst Challenges” to mark the 10-year celebrations of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister MoPD&SI graced the occasion as a Chief Guest.
While addressing the audience, the Minister highlighted how CPEC has emerged as a game-changer for both Pakistan and China, heralding a new era of economic prosperity and growth. He expressed his confidence that through CPEC, Pakistan shall be able to secure the development opportunities which were overlooked in the past.
Vice Admiral (Retd) Asif Khaliq HI(M), Rector, Bahria University presented his welcome note while Vice Admiral (Retd) Ahmed Saeed HI (M), DG NIMA set the stage for the Seminar. Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb, CEO HBL, and Mr. Faisal Zahid Malik, CEO Observer Group addressed the audience as the main sponsor and media partner respectively. H.E. Mr. Moin ul Haq, Ambassador of Pakistan to China delivered a virtual message, followed by the keynote address by H.E. Ms. Pang Chunxue, Chinese Ambassador.
Dr. Hassan Daud Butt acted as the moderator for the session. The session began with Ambassador (Retd) Masood Khalid, Former Ambassador to China appreciating the support of China in developing the power sector of Pakistan through CPEC. He also promoted the formation of academic and professional consortiums among the countries. Mr. Wang Hui, Chairman APCEA acknowledged the potential of Pakistan’s energy sector in its growth and emphasized the need to develop cheaper and renewable resources by engaging local enterprises. Ms. Ayla Majid, CEO of Planetive explained how a lack of policy readiness has cost Pakistan billions. She emphasized the importance of chip fabrication industry and renewable technologies for exponential growth in Pakistan.
Dr. Nadeem Javaid, Chief Economist focused on the difficulties of long-term planning regarding CPEC and called for increased regional cooperation. Dr. Javaid underlined the necessity for policy coordination, stakeholder involvement, and infrastructure development for making CPEC a success. Mr. Sajeed Aslam from ACCA commended the productive behavior of the Chinese workforce in Pakistan and called for increased collaborative learning. Dr. Hong Zhang of Howard University highlighted the need for industrial symbiosis and sustainable operations for the success of mega-projects such as CPEC.
Prof. Dr. Sander Schroevers emphasized the value of fostering effective academic and professional collaboration between China and Pakistan. Cdre (Retd) Baber Bilal Haider SI(M) from NIMA, while emphasizing on maritime security, stressed on the need for infrastructure development and increased connectivity with Gwadar Port.
The insights shared by the esteemed panelists during the seminar shed light on various facets of CPEC, providing a comprehensive understanding of its challenges and prospects. The event was well-attended by subject matter specialists, government officials, faculty members, students, and key maritime stakeholders. In the end, the moderator thanked the guest speakers and participants for their keen interest and appreciated the organizers for making this event rewarding and successful.