BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said Pakistan lying at the crossroads of important regions has always played a role to connect ideas, cultures, and commerce.
Speaking at Leaders’ Roundtable Session of 2nd Belt and Road Forum here, the prime minister called for enhancing connectivity to further expand the scope of the Belt and Road Initiative.
“We should consider digital connectivity, mobility of labour and transfer of skills, cultural links and knowledge and innovation connectivity to further expand the scope of the BRI,” the premier said, lauding Chinese President Xi Jinping for giving the BRI vision to break barriers, connect people, integrate economies and share prosperity.
To implement these additional areas of connectivity, he said, the BRI countries should establish a tourism corridor for cultural tourism exchanges. “They should develop programmes for improving the skills of labour from labour surplus countries to assist the labour deficient countries,” he suggested.
PM Khan said they should also create multilingual digital platforms for connecting producers, consumers and skilled job seekers.
He said connectivity has been a part of Pakistan’s heritage and the CPEC is giving it modern shape in the 21st century.
“Pakistan is privileged to have been an early partner of China,” he said, adding under the CPEC, “we are building highways, modernizing rail network, setting up power plants, establishing a port and special economic zones.”
He said, “the CPEC is not a transaction rather it is a transformation of our society”.
PM Khan was of the view that the connectivity of Gwadar port with China’s Xinjiang region will provide a shorter route for China’s imports, reduce the cost for Chinese companies and develop western China as well.