Masood Khalid, Pakistan's Ambassador to China [Photo provided by Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing]
Pakistan's Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid, has praised China's Belt and Road initiative as future work for the greater good of the world and participating countries.
He was speaking on the eve of the prestigious Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which takes place in Beijing on May 14 and 15.
In an interview with China Radio International (CRI), Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khalid said he believes that the attendance of his country's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, will further solidify the relationship between the two countries with common a vision and perspective. He added that the Belt and Road Forum will not only be successful, but also be a “great energy plant and action” among the participating countries.
Ambassador Masood Khalid stressed that Pakistan and China are celebrating the 66th year since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Since 1951, “our relationship has been nurtured into a full blooming tree.” With the multi-dimensional cooperative partnership between two countries, “our shared visions for prosperity and development will unite us” for more expected achievements under the Belt and Road Initiative.
He also emphasized that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor holds a special significance, as it is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative. It has injected a new dynamism in to this relationship, and has accelerated economic activity in Pakistan.
“Pakistan economic indicators have shown significant improvement in the last three years.” Ambassador Masood Khalid said. The construction of the CPEC has achieved steady progress and boosted GDP growth in Pakistan. “Last year, Pakistan’s GDP Growth was about 4.8%, which was the highest in the last 7 to 8 years. We expect 5% economic growth this year,” he added.
When it comes to the efforts Ambassador Masood Khalid has contributed over the years, he said that, it was part of his duty as a professional diplomat to bring the two countries closer to one another other. With endeavor from both sides, he is satisfied with the accomplishment of translating the concept of the CPEC into actions and projects.
When talking about obstacles that the two countries are concerned about, Ambassador Masood Khalid stated that challenges are natural as there are many projects under construction and implementation. As long as there is a commitment and support from the leadership from the two countries, the vision of the Belt and Road initiative will become a reality.
In closing, Ambassador Masood Khalid said “we are now focusing on better communication between the peoples of the two countries. “People to people contacts and bonding” is the dimensional shift in the relationship. “Our relationship is to the advantage of the region with mutual confidence and mutual respect. In the long run, it brings common good, prosperity and development, not only to this region but also to the world.”
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was initiated by Premier Li Keqiang while visiting Pakistan in May, 2013. The project will include key sectors such as energy, finance, food, agro-based industry, construction, steel, and logistics, and so on.