islamabad – The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has shown maturity and stability in the two countries’ already deep-rooted high-level friendship, said Haroon Sharif, former Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment in Pakistan, yesterday.
“Since its launch, the CPEC has significantly improved Pakistan’s infrastructure and power sector. CPEC has welcomed investment especially in agriculture and logistics sectors. It is a game changer as it has brought employment, prosperity and socio-economic development to the country, even to the region,” said Haroon Sharif told China Economic Net (CEN).
He said that the roots of the friendship are very deep and caring. It has multiple facets. “We have had rather a romantic relationship that we have seen the role of China for Pakistan at the global level and vice versa.”
The former minister mentioned that along with the socio-economic developments under the CPEC, human interaction between Pakistanis and Chinese has also increased, which is proving to be very helpful for people to understand each other from many angles beyond traditional ways. Sharif added, “The real people’s partnership will take place when they understand each other’s language and culture.” As Chinese universities are already attracting Pakistani students, two- or four-years’ studying made them have much deeper understanding of Chinese culture and people.
Sharif advised to scale up knowledge corridor by opening joint universities. Chinese faculty should come to Pakistan. By this way, the interaction of people will increase.
“In order to convert this interaction into knowledge, we have to make some investments in media, education and culture, like television stations and joint collaboration in films,” said Sharif.
CPEC is also appealing to foreign investors as the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has been briefing what is happening at Gwadar port, the progress of various projects. Foreign investors from Saudi Arabia and Qatar are watching CPEC closely, he added.
Agriculture will be a priority for their investment, according to Sharif, as Pakistan is an agricultural country with big potential and these countries have to import all the foodstuffs from abroad. If Pakistan gets their investment and increase agriculture sector productivity to grow enough food stuff (with China’s technologies), and then these countries can meet their needs by importing food from Pakistan.
“China’s model of development is very fascinating,” Sharif said. He thought that the reason why China has developed so fast lies in its reform and opening-up policy.