Three new corridors

113

The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing is all set to add new dimension and give impetus to multi billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Talking to China Economic Net, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moinul Haq shared some important developments taking place between the two countries saying it has been decided to launch Green, Health and Digital corridors- the successful implementation of these in fact will change the whole landscape of Pakistan and help it address most of its economic woes.

The Green Corridor will focus on agriculture, food security and green development. Pakistan is an agrarian economy but except for lip service, nothing concrete has been done on our part to realise its full potential.

While on the other side, China like any other sector has made major strides in this field too.

Thus, we can learn a lot from the Chinese experience to bolster our agriculture productivity and bring barren area under cultivation.

However, the focus should go beyond just importing agriculture machinery and equipment from China.

Though we need latest equipment to facilitate our farmers yet we should also seek Chinese cooperation to strengthen our research institutes and universities, enabling them to take the lead in agricultural development.

Be it wheat, cotton, rice or any other crop, our farmers need new varieties that bring more yields.

Under this corridor, we will suggest our government to establish linkages of our agriculture research institutes with that of China.

In addition, Chinese help or investment should also be sought to bring vast swathes of land in areas like Cholistan under cultivation.

The scope of this corridor can be expanded to cooperation in other related areas such as livestock, forestry and fisheries.

As regards digital corridor, we have no doubt in saying that Pakistan has immense potential given the talent of our youth.

In recent years, China has emerged as a technological giant and their investment in establishment of relevant training centres in the country will help us harness the potential of our youth.

Neighbouring India is earning hundreds of billions of dollars from IT related exports every year while our IT exports stand somewhere between four billion dollars.

We believe that right kind of interventions in this field can help Pakistan break the begging bowl once and for all and achieve self-reliance.

For this to happen, we will have to improve quality of education at our IT related educational institutions.

Given the size of our population, we in fact need more institutes to enable the youth stand on their own feet.

Similarly, there is an immense scope of cooperation in the field of health and medicine.

We believe under this corridor, the focus will be on establishing new hospitals, medical universities, research centres, pharmacies and care giving organisations.

There is a need to promote medical exchanges to learn from each other’s experiences and identify the scope of cooperation in this field.

Our herbal medicines have rich resources in treatment of respiratory and skin diseases, and the products are also exported to Central Asia and other countries.

Then our people are also highly receptive to traditional Chinese medicines. Given the importance peoples of Pakistan and China give to traditional medicines, relevant authorities can engage to promote research, development, management and production of herbal medicines.

At the same time, our pharmaceutical sector is ripe for investment. Comprising 700 plus manufacturers and thousands of distributors, Pakistan’s $4 billion pharmaceutical market has been growing at a good pace and the Chinese investment definitely will give it a major push to make it a strong exported oriented industry to earn valuable foreign exchange.

The first phase of CPEC which envisaged construction of road infrastructure and energy projects has been successful in view of their completion in record times.

The same model should be replicated in the construction of these three new corridors.

While both Pakistan and China are expanding their cooperation to new areas, we are confident that this will take relationship to new heights and bring the two nations further close to each other.

 

Previous articleMarriyum highlights Ummah’s problems
Next articleOur economic dilemma ? | By Tariq Khalil