ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) brought relationship between the two countries to new heights.
The minister gave the remarks on the inauguration ceremony for the issuance of a commemorative coin to mark the 70th anniversary of Pakistan-China ties.
Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong and other officials were also present on the occasion.
He said that after the successful conclusion of its first phase, CPEC has entered into second phase with focus on industrial cooperation, trade, agriculture and socio-economic development.
Ground-breaking of Rashakai Special Economic Zone last month has the potential to spur industrialization and enhance our exportable surplus, he said.
“In the wake of emerging global and regional environment, Pakistan has recalibrated its priorities from geo-politics to geo-economics.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), complements Pakistan’s renewed efforts of geo-economic shift with emphasis on economic integration and regional connectivity,” he said.
For generations, Pakistan and China have had the fine tradition of standing by each other through thick and thin, he highlighted.
After the outbreak of COVID-19 in China and Pakistan, both countries extended material and moral support to each other in their respective efforts to contain the pandemic. Our cooperation on vaccine is also progressing very well.
China has gifted millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan. Pakistan is also procuring Chinese vaccine on commercial basis, the minister highlighted.
“Pakistan has robust engagement with China in economic and financial sectors. Second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to Beijing in 2019, has been operationalized since 1st January 2020. Second phase of FTA has the potential to enhance Pakistan’s exports to China.
“To facilitate financial transactions and arrangements, Pakistan also has Currency Swap Agreement with China. We have robust cooperation in banking sectors as well; Pakistani commercial banks have started operations in China,” he said.
State Bank of Pakistan, as the regulator of the monetary and credit system of Pakistan, has a pivotal role in further deepening this relationship.
He also appreciated the State Bank of Pakistan for organizing this event and commend Pakistan Mint for designing and minting this commemorative coin.
“The coin’s denomination has been kept at 70 Rupees which is an apt reflection of the 70 years of our all-weather, time-tested and brotherly relationship,” he added.
“China-Pakistan relationship is unique in the world; our historic ties stretch over the span of millennia. Historically, academics, monks, travellers and traders frequently traversed the stretches of Trans-Karakorum tracts and laid the foundation of this fraternal bond. Over the last seven decades, this time-tested relationship has flourished from strength to strength, unaffected by the vicissitudes of time and changes in the regional and global environment. Unrelenting efforts of the successive generations of people and the leadership of Pakistan and China have transformed this relationship into an ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.”
Pakistan and China steadfastly support each other on the issues of core interest. Pakistan adheres to ‘One-China’ policy and supports China on issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, South China Sea, Taiwan and Tibet, he reiterated.
China has stood by Pakistan in supporting our key strategic, economic and developmental priorities.
Maintaining its principled stance, China has unwaveringly supported Pakistan on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.