Islamabad : The Coordinator to Federal Tax Ombudsman and Chairman Kyrgyzstan Trade House Meher Kashif Younis Sunday said cooperation with China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) “has transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape.
Speaking at a seminar titled “Prospects of Belt and Road Initiatives” held under the aegis of Gold Ring Economic Forum, a strategic think tank, Meher spoke highly of the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship BRI project, saying it is “transformational” for entire country.
Besides the Gwadar Port, which he said has become the crown jewel of the CPEC, he also lauded the eco-friendly Orange Line metro train in Lahore, the first of its kind in Pakistan, which officially opened for traffic in October 2020.
He said BRI projects have benefited the Pakistani people through job creation, improving livelihoods, eradicating poverty and upgrading remote areas.Infrastructure development and energy upgrades have “helped change the economic, social and industrial landscape of Pakistan,” said Meher Kashif Younis.
He further elaborated that “all these philosophies and dimensions of BRI directly contribute to the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Thanks to BRI projects, frequent power outages in peak season are now a thing of the past, he said.He daid that Pakistan is seeking more cooperation with China on industry modernization and information technology (IT) since Pakistan began working on its special technology zones.
“The BRI has played, is playing and is going to play a very important role for stabilizing the economies of the world and bringing countries including especially Pakistan together for tackling challenges like COVID-19,” said Meher. “It’s just a beginning,” he said, expecting closer cooperation among research institutions and universities. “We want to see more cooperation in this area.”Noting the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global economic impact, he called for collective effort, international solidarity and cooperation to address which he said is the biggest challenge faced by humanity in a long time.
Meher Kashif Younis said that he visited Z-park also known as China’s Silicon Valley, to see how Pakistan can learn from the Chinese side in IT technology, artificial intelligence, 5G, robotics and cloud computing. He said so far more than 70,000 jobs have been created thanks to BRI cooperation, stressed Meher adding that according to his government’s forecast, another half a million direct and indirect jobs will be created in the next five to seven years.