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Pakistan to Become Hub of Regional Connectivity as CPEC Enters Its Next Phase

Pakistan’s potential to become a hub of regional connectivity in the backdrop of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is already entering its next phase was highlighted at the first ‘Diplomats’ Discourse’ titled “Regional Connectivity: In Asian Context” and organized jointly by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and the COMSATS University.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the discourse held at the Foreign Service Academy, the newly-arrived Ambassador of China Jiang Ziadong noted the year 2023 marked the Decade of the game-changer project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and had immense opportunities for the participating countries.

This was perhaps Ambassador Jiang’s first public appearance after formally presenting his papers to President Arif Alvi a day earlier and the audience included a good number of Islamabad-based ambassadors, diplomats, think-tank representatives, serving and former Pakistan ambassadors, under-training Foreign Service officers as well as diplomats from the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries currently undergoing training at the academy.

The speakers held that the project exemplified openness, inclusivity, and mutual benefits, garnering support from the people of both China and Pakistan.

The initiative has become a prominent international cooperation platform, generating substantial investments and creating job opportunities, they said adding, under their joint efforts and leadership, CPEC will be further enhanced to elevate all-around cooperation to new heights.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed also addressed the discourse.

Two panel discussions were held: one on BRI and ASEAN and the other on Pakistan as the hub of regional connectivity. Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin, the Azerbaijan envoy Khazar Farhadov, Pakistan Ambassadors to Philippines, Thailand, UAE, Oman and Azerbaijan and former Ambassador of Pakistan to China Naghmana Hashmi and former Ambassador to Indonesia Muhammad Hassan also participated in the discussion and explained the mystique of diplomacy and contours of their countries’ Foreign Policy.

Source: Pakistan Observer