NationalVolume 14 Issue # 19

Belt and Road Forum opportunities

The socio-economic and political dynamics of the world have changed. A shift in regional politics on the base of widespread economic agreements can be observed for many years. In fact, regional and international politics is being played under the aegis of economic cooperation with the countries which have common stacks in regional and global arena.

That is the reason; countries are engaging themselves in trade and commerce by adopting liberal economic values. China also introduced such steps toward economic prosperity, and the Belt and Road Initiative is one of them that were launched five years ago. The first BRF was arranged in 2017 in which participants pledged to work together for mutual interests by advancing transportation, upgrading infrastructure of communication, backing up people-to-people contact through cultural exchange programs, and harmonizing economic interests, trade and investment cooperation. That is, in fact, a joint economic venture for the purpose of a shared future of mankind. Establishing high quality goals of development regionally and globally was the foundational ground of the Belt and Road Forum that is extended in the Second Belt and Road Forum but with new dimensions and wider perspectives by engaging large stockholders of international community.

Similarly, Pakistan has signed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with China. The CPEC is an important part of One Border One Road project that has been launched by China. Initially, $46 billion was its original value. Later the total amount was extended by including some other projects of development.

OBOR has opened a door of opportunities in which countries from different continents are becoming part.  Recently, China hosted the Second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing to enhance economic cooperation by engaging the international community. The Second Belt and Road Forum for International cooperation was successfully organized in which more than 40 leaders and heads of international organizations were invited. More than 6,000 representatives from 150 countries participated in the forum.

Under the aegis of “Belt and Cooperation; shaping a brighter shared future“, the participants shared their in-depth views and expert opinion to sew up defined multiple regions with giant economic engagements by shedding light on the future prospects of the junction of projects. All of the participants developed a common narrative about priorities, principles and mechanism to make the plans successful for social and economic welfare of different regions by boosting up their economic development.

The most important and inspiring aspect is the implementation of the agenda of the forum on the spot how much it was possible by signing contracts and MOUs. Over 127 countries and 29 international organizations signed documents with China. Cooperation contracts of round about US$64 billion were signed by different countries, organizations and CEOs of mega companies. China also signed more than 100 multilateral and bilateral cooperation documents.

The ideal strategic location of Pakistan and the CPEC have raised its importance for China in more economic development ways. No doubt, both countries are all-weather friends. That is the reason; Prime Minister Imran Khan was not only invited to attend the forum but also welcomed warmly and enthusiastically. He delivered important speeches in an open ceremony and the Round Table Summit of the forum that is really a honour for Pakistan.  Industrial cooperation, fighting collectively against climate change, waging war against poverty through boosting up economic engagements from both sides, reviving tourism and livelihood corridor, and embarking on anti-corruption drive expanding free trade and investment were the core mutually exchanged fields of cooperation.

Leaderships of both sides pledged to the goals in more practical ways so that the common people may enjoy fruits of the forum to alleviate their basic economic and social issues. They agreed to 14 cooperation initiatives related to transportation, intellectual property, environmental protection, technology, disaster management cooperation, postal services, and many more.

It is a great opportunity for Pakistan to modernize its IT field. We lag behind other countries in the field of technology because of prevailing non-professional norms, “saith culture” that is entrenched in our land roots, lack of funds, insufficient technological parks, and digital marketing houses. So, it will help to create jobs for skilled youngsters by getting rid of poverty. Pakistan should streamline the signed contracts and MOUs in a smooth and practical way to enjoy more and more fruits from the commitments of the forum. It will not only forge relations between China and Pakistan, but our major economic and IT issues would also be addressed, too.