Pak-China must jointly explore growth avenues: Wang

CEPC takes economic and social development to new heights: Qureshi

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OUR CORRESPONDENT
ISLAMABAD
In recognition of his services for promoting PakChina ties, President Arif Alvi on Sunday conferred Pakistan’s highest civil award ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’ on Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan during a ceremony held at President House in Islamabad. The ceremony was attended by Senate chairman, services chiefs, cabinet members, MNAs and foreign dignitaries. President Arif Alvi said that Wang Qishan was a great friend of Pakistan and ardent supporter of Pak-China Friendship. Earlier in the day, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners and truly support each other in achieving greater development. Addressing the Friends of Silk Road Forum here in Islamabad on Sunday, he said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stands a good testimony of share aspiration of the two countries. He said as a major pilot programme of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC has come a long way over the past five years and more. He said the BRI moving towards highly quality development, CPEC is rapidly extending to new priority areas including industrial parks and people’s livelihood. He hoped that CPEC will produce new outcomes and lend new impetus to the economic and social development of Pakistan and economic integration of the region. Wang Qishan said China today is advancing a host of major reforms and opening-up measures including expanding market access for foreign investment, strengthening protection of intellectual property and increasing imports of goods and services. He was confident that a more open China will bring about greater progress and prosperity to the world and especially to the region. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressing the forum expressed the government’s commitment to further strengthen strategic partnership between Pakistan and China. He said both countries are observing 2019 as year of mutual relations and it is expected that people to people contacts will reach a new level. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has helped strengthening bilateral relations and taken economic and social development to new heights. The Chairman of Pak-China Institute, Mushahid Hussain Sayed addressing the forum said China reposed confidence in Pakistan and invested billions when no other country was ready to look at Pakistan. “Today, things have changed and the naysayers are nowhere around. Now the talk has shifted to Pakistan’s legitimate position as a global and international player,” he added. Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a statement said that Pakistan is ready to have talks with the new Indian government. The Foreign minister’s statement came two days after Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted back into power.

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