Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khalid (Photo provided by Embassy of Pakistan in China)
The rapid construction of physical infrastructure accompanied by reinforced mechanisms for policy coordination, financial linkages and people-to-people bonds under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is impressive, said Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khalid.
Theambassador shared his thoughts on the BRI as well as the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in a recent written interview with Xinhuanet.
Hesaid the Belt and Road Forum is a symbol of the BRI's growing impact on the world.
"Pakistan looks forward to the second Belt and Road Forum as an important platform for deepening the international consensus on connectivity and promoting effective cooperation to unlock the potential of our economies and give full play to the enterprising spirit of our peoples," he said.
In 2013, Pakistan and China reached an understanding to develop the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to upgrade the physical connectivity infrastructure betweenthe two countries and further enhance economic relations.
In the short span of a few years, CPEC has become one of the largest, most visible and most successful projects under the initiative, the ambassador said.
He went on to describe the effect CPEC has had on Pakistan in both tangible and intangible ways.
The energy crisis afflicting Pakistan has largely subsided due to CPEC, according to the ambassador.
Pakistan's economic growth in 2017-18 reached a recent high of 5.8 percent, he added.
"CPEC has also occasioned profound changes in how we approach development intellectually," he continued.
"The people of Pakistan have always had the greatest respect for China's determination to succeed, especially over the past four decades of reform and opening up. UnderCPEC, one could say that we are experiencing our own version of reform and opening up," he said.
The ambassador said that both China and Pakistan are working to promote the steady development of CPEC and upgrade the two countries' trade and economic ties comprehensively.
He encouraged Chinese enterprises to take advantage of favorable investment opportunities in Pakistan.
The ambassador held that China's achievements in poverty alleviation are the result of several inter-related factors.
"Some of these include meticulous planning, scientific decision-making on development work, untiring efforts of the government and people and the leadership's unwaveringcommitment to the well-being of the people," he said. "Pakistan is working to adapt oursocioeconomic development model to reflect lessons learnt from China's experience inpoverty alleviation."
He hailed China's commitment to sharing the benefits of its economic development to promote sustainable win-win outcomesand economic globalization.
China has been playing a progressively greater role on the world stage since 1949, and this has not been an exclusively one-way process; growth in other markets is also a major driver of Chinese growth, he noted.
It is a virtuous interplay that has enriched the entireworld, including in the cultural andcivilizational domains, the ambassador said.