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The "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) initiative of China would play a momentous role in creating a new world order based upon equality and openness towards the economic opportunities existing on the globe. Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Shah Faisal Afridi stated this while addressing a meeting of the PCJCCI think-tank here at the Chamber premises.

The meeting discussed about the significance of development strategy launched by the Chinese government with an intention to promote economic co-operation among the countries along the proposed road and railway routes. He said that evolution on OBOR would also pave way for policy co-ordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds between the partner countries in future.

Afridi said that with its focus on infrastructure, the Belt and Road initiative promotes a more sustainable and inclusive version of globalization compared to the one led by Western countries. The initiative has been designed to enhance the orderly free-flow of economic factors and the efficient allocation of resources, he said adding that the project had also a vide scope of further market integration and create a regional economic co-operation framework of benefits to all.

He said that railway track under OBOR would focus on linking China to Europe through Central Asia on one side and connecting China with the Middle East through Central Asia on the other side by also knitting China with South Asia and the Indian Ocean. It will also create connectivity between China and Europe through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, he added.

Afridi hoped that evolution of this initiative would play a momentous role in bringing a new economic world order based upon equality and openness towards the trade opportunities existing on the globe. China is playing an increasingly central role in the global economy and this is also reflected in Pakistan-China relations, he said. China is Pakistan's largest trading partner, with total volume exceeding $20 billion and through the railway track expansion under OBOR, the bilateral trade will become more accessible and beneficial for Pakistan too, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the PCJCCI senior vice president Ahmed Hasnain said the project would not only strengthen the bond between Pakistan and China but will also act as an impetus to facilitate unimpeded trade. He said steps would be taken to resolve investment and trade relating issues, reduce investment and trade barriers, lower trade and investment costs, as well as to promote regional economic integration. Efforts would also be made to broaden the scope of trade, propel trade development through investment, and strengthen co-operation in the industry chain with all related countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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