Pakistan: The Next Great Infrastructure Connector
Corporate Pakistan Group (CPG) and Nutshell Group, founded by Muhammad Azfar Ahsan – Former Minister of State and Chairman of Board of Investment, held a ground breaking session, ‘Thought Leaders Dialogue – Pakistan: The Next Great Infrastructure Connector’, at local hotel, Islamabad.
The session featured Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as a keynote speaker and an Issue Brief, he has authored for the Atlantic Council titled ‘Pakistan: The Next Great Infrastructure Connector’. The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs and helps shape policy choices and strategies to create a more free, secure, and prosperous world.
The discussed brief explores a yet unchartered future pathway for Pakistan for the country to unlock the potential of its geo-strategic location, to connect landlocked Central Asia, the natural resources of the Middle East, and the markets of China and India.
Drawing a parallel to Turkey, which has successfully capitalized on its location through the development of its infrastructure, Ambassador Siddiqui built a strong case for Pakistan’s economic growth and regional economic security. During the talk, he emphasized the need to rapidly deliver on developing connectivity infrastructure to drive shared prosperity and growth across the region.
The paper details the accelerated development of Gas, Electricity, Road, Rail, and Fiber Optic connections in the last decade and proposes that current infrastructure combined with planned developments must be synced to actualize Pakistan’s potential as a regional connector. Ambassador Siddiqui believes that “Realizing this potential within the next decade is entirely possible.’ As the country develops into the next great connector, regional governments and the private sector will not just have the opportunity to participate in this growth but also bind its destiny towards a shared and prosperous future.
The paper highlights that many opportunities are already attracting the interest of regional players who stand to benefit directly and must also be explored by investors who stand to be rewarded in a manner similar to Turkey.
Muhammad Azfar Ahsan believes that “Pakistan’s location is its core strength and will determine its rise as the most influential of energy corridors for regional prosperity. It will also directly impact and improve Pakistan’s prosperity, stability, and security.”
The Brief was originally launched and promoted ahead of the Global Energy Forum being hosted by the Atlantic Council at the Dubai Expo, in conjunction with the World Government Summit in March 2022. The launch of this Issue Brief successfully placed Pakistan at the forefront of constructive international dialogue and now the national discourse.
The session featured Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Senator Dr. Musadik Malik; Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson of Pakistan Stock Exchange, SSGC and Karandaz; Dr. Moeed W. Yusuf, Former National Security Advisor of Pakistan; Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman (Rtd); Ghias Khan, President Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI); and Mosharraf Zaidi, Founder, Tabadlab. Also present was a strong representation from Central Asian Republic diplomatic corps, including Ismatullo Nasredin – Ambassador of Tajikistan, Khazar Farhadov – Ambassador of Azerbaijan, Yerzhan Kistafin – Ambassador of Kazakhstan, Totuiaev Ulanbek Asankulovich – Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, Aybek Arif Usmanov – Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Atadjan Movlamov – Ambassador of Turkmenistan.