BRI: Paving the Path to Shared Prosperity By Zahid Anwar


A seminar on Belt and Road Initiative: Paving the Path to Shared Prosperity was organized by CPEC Center of Excellence Islamabad in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, China Embassy Islamabad and Quid-e-Azam University on 12th October 2023 at Serena Hotel, Islamabad. Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar (SI), VC, QAU Islamabad delivered a welcome address. In the opening remarks Mr Sami Saeed, Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives said that BRI manifests our collective belief in the power of collaboration to create a world where opportunities are boundless and prosperity knows no limits.

H.E. Jiang Zaidong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan attributed the success of CPEC to its adherence to the principles of the BRI as the project exemplifies openness, inclusivity and mutual benefits, garnering support from the people of both China and Pakistan. The seminar was divided into sessions entitled the Overview of the Belt and Road Initiative, trade & Industrial Cooperation under BRI, Cultural Exchanges & People-to-People Connectivity, Financial Sector Integration under BRI and CPEC Integration with Belt and Road Initiative. For instance, Prof Dr Zahid Anwar former Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Peshawar and chairman of PEDF moderated the third session. In that session Dr Safdar Ali Shah Director General CPEC, HEC highlighted that BRI is inspired by the ancient Silk Road and the spirit of the Silk Road was peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. Dr Najam Abbas, the UK-based expert on BRI and CPEC objectively analyzed the development of of BRI and CPEC and brought to the limelight its opportunities and challenges. Mr Yasir, CGTN, Beijing underlined the significance of media in the narrative building regarding BRI and CPEC. Dr Ahsan Abbas explained people-to-people contact in the context of BRI.

The moderator Prof Zahid Anwar said that BRI is based on the Win-Win Model, and each project of this initiative benefits each partner, it is inclusive.  BRI is based on the service provider Model; It is not based on the need-maker model. The Silk Road played an important role in the peace and prosperity of Eurasia. Belt and Road Initiative which is the 21st Century Silk Road was launched in 2013. Equality, consultation, cooperation and 5 principles of peaceful co-existence are the hallmarks of BRI. BRI is a metaphor for sharing and learning across cultures, art forms and disciplines. It’s a simile for exploring regional commonalities. It’s an epithet to find out interests` convergence among regional states. Pakistan’s participation in BRI will symbolize the return of the Indus Valley to the central place in region-wide economic and cultural interaction.  Dr Liaqat Ali Shah, Director, CPEC Center of Excellence Islamabad in the end of the seminar thanked all the distinguished guests, moderators, panelists and the audience for their participation and invaluable input.

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