CPEC Forum 2019
20 June 2019

Remarks by the Director General to welcome the Foreign Minister for his key note address

Mr. Foreign Minister, distinguished participants,

We are truly honored that Honorable Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, is here to give a key note address to CPEC Forum 2019. Honorable Foreign Minister arrived in Islamabad this morning after an overnight journey. And yet, he agreed to share his thoughts with us on this Forum.

That speaks of his commitment to his professional responsibilities, and to Pakistan’s relations with China. This in turn reflects the high importance that the present government attaches to CPEC and its implementation.

Thank you Mr. Foreign Minister for your consistent support to our work and your enormously valuable service to CPEC, one of the most important facets of Pakistan China relations.

Mr. Foreign Minister, the idea to hold a CPEC Forum 2019 emerged from our Chinese friends, especially Ambassador Yao Jing and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It is a kind of follow up to the BRI Forum in April this year that was held in Beijing, in which Honorable Prime Minister and yourkindself represented Pakistan. CPEC is a flagship project of BRI. And in many ways CPEC sets down the benchmarks for other projects of BRI.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has twice held CPEC Forum in Xingjiang, focusing on multiple domains from energy to agriculture to industrial parks. The Forum seeks to promote better understanding of the issues involved and harmony among stakeholders.

Mr. Foreign Minister,

CPEC Forum 2019 comprises two parts: One is the academic segment, which is culminating now, with participation of think tanks and scholars. We discussed various dimensions of CPEC, highlighting its achievements but also pointing out areas where further work is needed. More importantly, the forums like this keep the communication channels live and active in pursuit of our share goals under the CPEC.

This morning we held an inaugural session, where the heads of the organizing institutions shared their respective perspectives: Mr Cai Fang, Vice President of CASS, Ms Zhao Bai Ge, vice chair of the 12th NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Mushahid Hussain, who is chairman of Pakistan China Institute.

In the first panel, moderated by Mr Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director of Pakistan China Institute, we reviewed the Five Years of CPEC Cooperation.

In the second panel, which I had the privilege to moderate as the designated moderator Dr. Abid Qayyum Sulehri was called for a pressing engagement, we discussed ways to unlock future potential of CPEC. 

Tomorrow, a Business Dialogue will be held to connect the business community of the two countries. Zalmi Foundation is helping with that. Our Institute is also extending whatever support is needed.

Mr. Foreign Minister, before we hear your keenly awaited key note address, my friend honorable Ambassador Yao Jing of China would also like to share his thoughts. May I mention that Ambassador Yao has been a dynamic force behind all these initiatives. We at the Institute are particularly fortunate that Ambassador Yao and his team are highly cooperative and supportive of the work of the China Pakistan Study Center at our Institute.

Ambassador Yao, may we invite you to the floor.