Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while speaking in 'Belt and Road Impact' session of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, said the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would link together a series of countries, regions and civilizations to create shared prosperity.
Abbasi said Pakistan is the most visible part of the BRI because of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and that the project would result in freer movement of people and greater cultural interaction between the countries, Radio Pakistan reported.
Referring to CPEC, which is part of BRI, the prime minister said projects under the initiative include power plants, highways, modernisation of railways and ports, construction of airports and setting up of economic zones for export growth.
Editorial: OBOR connectivity shunned
The results of CPEC related projects have already started appearing as our cement plants produced 56 percent additional capacity and exports grew by 15 per cent, Abbasi was quoted as saying.
He said CPEC is also boosting confidence of the investors and Pakistan is getting a lot of investment in addition to CPEC. "Apart from financial sustainability, these projects are indicative of Pakistan being a more responsible global citizen as far as environment is concerned," he said.
The prime minister said the development of ports and highways, Pakistan can provide much more efficient connectivity to most of Central Asian countries, which are landlocked.
Abbasi thanks Bill Gates
Prime Minister Abbasi later met Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the World Economic Forum. Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, and other government officials were also present.
Abbasi reportedly thanked and appreciated the support provided by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Pakistan, particularly for the Polio Eradication Programme. He discussed avenues of partnership in health, education and other social sectors with Gates.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and empowerment of farmers through financial and digital inclusion was also discussed during the meeting.