Speaking at the Leaders’ Roundtable of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing today, Prime Minister Imran Khan highly appreciated the tremendous development of China and the lifting of over 700 million people out of poverty within a short span of 3 decades.The thematic focus of the Roundtable was: “Boosting Connectivity to Explore New Sources of Growth.” In his statement, the Prime Minister underscored the vital importance of greater connectivity among BRI participating countries and proposed four specific areas for particular focus in this regard:
i. Digital connectivity;
ii. Mobility of labour;
iii. Cultural connectivity;
iv. Sharing best practices in knowledge and innovation.
To advance these proposals, among other things, the Prime Minister suggested the setting up of BRI Tourism Corridor, improving labour skills and mobility, and creating multi-lingual digital platforms. Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized that CPEC, a transformational project, would play an important role in boosting connectivity, including between the Gwadar Port and Xinjiang region of China. Reiterating Pakistan’s appreciation of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Prime Minister underlined that regional connectivity, resulting in enhanced cooperation and prosperity, would help find common solutions to longstanding problems. The Leaders’ Roundtable was addressed by a large number of participating leaders including Russian Federation, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Chile, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Singapore, Myanmar, Italy, Hungary, Singapore and Greece.