Photo taken on March 22, 2017 shows the Gwadar port area in Gwadar, Pakistan. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
ISLAMABAD, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's top foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) holds a special significance, as it is a flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Belt and Road Initiative is a visionary concept with focus on connectivity of infrastructure including roads, rail links, sea routes, ports, and connectivity of policy, trade and finance, the adviser told a seminar on "CPEC: Corridor of Prosperity through Education and Business" at National University of Modern Languages.
"By linking China with Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, CPEC will optimize trade potential and enhance energy security of China, Pakistan and our wider region. Thus, it will directly benefit 3 billion people inhabiting China, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East," Sartaj Aziz said.
He emphasized that CPEC should not be viewed in the prism of regional power dynamics, old style alliance formation or "Zero-sum relationship" between different countries.
"The spirit of CPEC is cooperation and not confrontation, collaboration and not competition. It is a win-win project for everybody in the region and beyond. CPEC contributes towards a regional and an international order based on shared prosperity, mutual benefits and economic convergence," he said.
While terming CPEC as a catalyst for regional economic integration, Aziz observed that it will foster regional harmony and forge closer relations among China, Pakistan and the neighbors.
"It will promote regional stability in the region and bring prosperity, particularly to underdeveloped areas by creating jobs and new businesses."
He said CPEC is a recipe for alleviating poverty for millions of people by providing alternate livelihoods, adding the Corridor can also act as a bulwark against forces of terrorism and violent extremism - by engaging local youth in meaningful employment and presenting them with new economic opportunities.
Aziz was of the view that the key sectors including energy, finance, food, agro-based industry, livestock, construction, steel, transport and logistics, light engineering, plastics, value-added textile, mining and ore, assembly operations, tourism and IT services can flourish under the CPEC.
"Infrastructural improvement will encourage Greenfield industrial setups, but it is the focus on high tech and value additive industries that will provide the real platform for competitive trade in the global economy," the adviser said.