China and the United Arab Emirates are exploring opportunities for cooperation under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Yao Jing China’s ambassador to Islamabad said.
“UAE is also a partner under the Belt and Road Initiative and has a lot of trade and economic links with Pakistan,” Yao Jing said in an interview.
The Belt and Road initiative is a Beijing-led program to boost economic and trade ties in dozens of countries in Asia, Europe and beyond, mostly through investments in energy and infrastructure.
“Between China and UAE, maybe we have some opportunities to cooperate for Pakistan’s development.”
Yao said since the ninth meeting of a Pakistan China Joint Cooperation Committee held this month, both countries had stepped up efforts to promote “third party investment” in the bilateral project.
Leader of the House in the Senate, Syed Shibli Faraz welcomed investment in Pakistan from the UAE and Arab countries.
The government was discussing opportunities for Arab countries to join CPEC. They had shown “willingness,” he said.
Senator and Chairman of China-Pakistan Institute, Mushahid Hussain Syed, said the participation of friendly countries like UAE would be a “great plus” for CPEC.
In an earlier interview, UAE Deputy Head of Mission in Islamabad, Abdul Aziz Al Neyadi, said that UAE and China had common interests and were “ready to jointly work in a third country, as the government of UAE and China enjoy strong relations with Pakistan.”
UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi, has also said: “Pakistan and UAE need to work together to further upgrade their ties aiming at developing a strategic partnership.”
In Pakistan, Beijing has pledged about $60 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor of power stations, major highways, new and upgraded railways and higher capacity ports, aimed to help turn Pakistan into a major overland route linking western China to the world.
The first phase of the corridor focused on the development of infrastructure and electricity projects and the second phase will be oriented towards industrialization and socio-economic development in nine special economic zones across the country.
He said that the purpose of bringing junior foreign diplomats to ICCI was to provide them a briefing on economic potential of Pakistan.
Saif ur Rahman Khan Vice President ICCI, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, Usman Khalid, Fahad Waheed and others were also present at the occasion.