VIENNA: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that Pakistan is young and dynamic, and it would be among top economies of the world by 2050; and now that it is the hub of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is already both a conduit and a destination for logistical chains, trade and investments.
He made these remarks while addressing a seminar titled ” Pakistan’s New Role Between China and Europe; Opportunities and Challenges of China’s Silk Road Project” organized by the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) which was hosted by Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Former Defense Minister and President of AIES.
Explaining the scope of the the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the President said that this is an unprecedented transcontinental project spanning Asia, Europe and Africa aiming for global connectivity and economic prosperity. With massive potential, he said, this initiative covers 68 countries with plans to invest over US $ 1 trillion in infrastructure, energy, and industrial projects. Underlining the importance of the European Union, President Masood Khan said that EU’s market of 460 million people, as well as the EU’s treasure trove of technology and knowhow, makes it imperative that modern connectivity channels are established. He said that investments in Europe by China in energy, telecommunication, real estate sector and similarly Europe’s investment in industrial and services sectors in China have created mutual dependencies. President AJK said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the flagship project and an offshoot of the BRI, thereby any role Pakistan can or will play between Europe and China will be within the framework of the BRI and CPEC combined. He added that both the BRI and CPEC are a conscious effort to reach out to Europe which will bring Europe closer to Chinese markets.
The event was co-hosted by Austria National Defence Academy and the Universal Peace Federation who were represented there by Brigadier Walter Feichtinger and Mr. Peter Haider respectively. It was attended by over 70 scholars, analysts, ambassadors, diplomats, UN representatives and members of civil society.