BEIJING: Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal pointed that China’s growth will steer the global economy back on track.
The minister made the remarks while commenting on the global inflation, which has become one of the leading concerns of the year for many.
“If you look at Europe, the United States, or everywhere, the inflation rate is rising. Central banks resort to increasing the policy rates, but that slows down the economy,” the minister told China Economic Net during his recent visit to China.
He also noted that Pakistan was currently facing an economic crisis for a number of reasons, and the government is trying to stabilise and revive the economy.
However, China’s opening up offers a great opportunity for the whole world, because “China has so much consumer demand in its market,” he noted.
The minister cited China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as examples. 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of BRI and also the tenth year of CPEC.
As he sees it, BRI and CPEC are platforms to promote inter-regional and international trade, to bring sharing of experiences among different countries, as well as to promote joint responses to many global issues.
“There has been tremendous and remarkable progress on CPEC in Pakistan. It has made a valuable contribution in helping Pakistan overcome its energy crisis, in helping it modernize the infrastructure, and also it has laid down a fibre optic cable that provides the backbone to its digital infrastructure…” Iqbal enumerated the advantages of CPEC.
“Although CPEC is a bilateral project, its scope is regional. It not only provides a chance for Pakistan to improve its standards in various fields yet it also provides an opportunity for other countries.
Likewise, now Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa are expressing interest to integrate with CPEC,” Ahsan Iqbal pointed out, adding that China has very successfully brokered a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is “one of the most remarkable developments of our times that will conceive more opportunities for collaboration in the region.”
Iqbal hoped that in the coming years, Pakistan will see more relocation of Chinese industries to the country to take advantage of its low cost of production, logistics and so on, as Pakistan is a textile powerhouse with many other sectors – namely agriculture, meat, and technology – where it can offer services to China.
“Now, under the BRI and other regional cooperation that we are developing, there will be tremendous opportunities for countries like Pakistan to trade more with China and other the BRI countries,” Iqbal added.