Islamabad (Agencies): A momentous two-day International Conference on “Decade of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) & Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) – From Vision to Reality” began today, marking the 10-year celebration of CPEC.

The conference, organized by the Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China, focuses on CPEC as a strategic component of BRI, emphasizing infrastructure development and socio-economic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Bringing together policymakers, scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders, the conference aims to foster discussions on the economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical impacts of CPEC and BRI. Chinese Charge d’Affaires Ms. Pang Chunxue and Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Prof Ahsan Iqbal, will be the chief guests.

The event will explore opportunities for enhanced cooperation, sustainable development, and inclusive growth in the next phase of CPEC. Various technical sessions will cover topics such as Socio-Economic impacts of CPEC, Regional Connectivity through Gwadar Port, Industrial Relocation and Export Opportunities, Green Technologies and Development, Security and Geopolitical Implications, Innovation, Technology and Global Value Chains, Challenges to Regional Connectivity and Integration, and Artificial Intelligence and Labor Market Dynamics.

Since coming into power in April 2022, the current government has revived CPEC projects that were previously shelved. Prime Minister Shahbaz has reaffirmed his commitment to completing these projects, and during his tenure, he visited China to strengthen ties.

Over the past decade, Pakistan and China have forged strong bonds, referring to each other as “Iron Brothers.” CPEC has significantly improved Pakistan’s energy security and transportation networks, facilitating infrastructure development across the country, including ports, airports, roads, and railways. To honor the milestone, souvenirs will be awarded to both Pakistani and Chinese companies involved in CPEC projects, and a commemorative coin has been prepared by the Planning Ministry. Special documentaries showcasing CPEC’s journey will also be featured during the event.

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