Pakistan's geo-location supplements potential of Silk Road: PM
Nawaz Sharif says the New Silk Road will enable mutual trade, economic growth and prosperity.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan's geographical location supplements the potential of the Silk Road and augments scope of its revival.
Addressing a session titled as Reviving the Silk Road - A dialogue with Asian Leaders at Boao Forum for Asia 2014, in China's Hainan province on Thursday, he said Pakistan recognizes that political and economic dividends of this vision are unparalleled both in scale and potential.
He said the concept of Silk Road has evolved to become an important policy instrument on regional connectivity and regional integration.
The Prime Minister said as old Silk Road connected different regions and civilizations, the New Silk Road will enable their mutual trade, economic growth and prosperity.
He stressed on promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and goodwill among relevant countries. He said we also need to promote regional coordination to introduce cohesive laws and regulations regarding movement of humans and merchandize, taxation policies and tariff and non-tariff barriers.
He urged to improve regional infrastructure for better connectivity by building better transport networks including roads, motorways, railways and air links. He advocated easing convertibility of currencies and promoting uniformity in financial and banking sectors to further promote grass root exchange.
Nawaz Sharif said our geography in the region enables us to be en route to a three-pronged economic corridor between China, Central Asia and the Middle East, which is triangular dimension of our relevance with the Silk Road. He said Pakistan's long coastline also makes our ports of Karachi and Gwadar as a strategic transit on the maritime Silk Road.
He said Pakistan and China are active partners in reviving this concept, in all its dimensions and work, in this regard, has already commenced.
Talking about Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, the Prime Minister said the project is the southern extension of New Silk Road and during last ten months, the two countries have achieved a broad consensus on planning various infrastructure and energy projects under the rubric of the Economic Corridor.
He said Pakistan-China Economic Corridor is an instrument for alleviating poverty for millions of people by providing alternate sources of livelihood. He said Pakistan realizes that partnership in the Silk Road would entail a robust infrastructure, regular energy supply and improved overall governance.
The Prime Minister has already sought to improve governance and undertaken sound economic policies. He said to increase the business footprint in the country, we have a deregulation plan in place that includes a greater role of private equity in business.
Urging the participants of the conference, he said in terms of ease of business, Pakistan ranks the highest in our region. He said investing in Pakistan is like revival of Silk Road. The PM welcomed finances and expertise in Pakistan from China and wider Asia, both in public and private sectors. He assured for full security to human and financial resources invested in Pakistan, as well as healthy dividends on investment.
Talking about Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Prime Minister lauded its role in promoting peace and security in wider neighborhood. He said the organization is playing an important role in settling disputes and managing conflicts.
Nawaz Sharif said in our common endeavor of reviving the Silk Road, Pakistan will be a steadfast partner of China and the region.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President of EXIM Bank of China Mr. Lui Ruogu on the sidelines of Boao Asia Forum.
During the meeting, financing of infrastructure and energy sector projects in Pakistan were discussed.
Chinese companies plan to make an investment of about thirty-two billion dollars in Pakistan for the next five years.
The Prime Minister said the investment will give boost to the economy of Pakistan. He said fast-tracking the progress in financing of these projects will enable Chinese companies to initiate projects in time.
President, EXIM Bank of China assured support and agreed that the financing process should be undertaken at a faster pace.