Islamabad, 26 January 2023 (TDI): The development of strong bilateral ties between Pakistan and China through research and development cooperation and think tank exchanges is crucial for the continued growth of the countries’ relationship.

The upward trajectory of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a reflection of the increasing importance of ideas, economic cooperation, and exchange in shaping the future of the region.

Both nations have a long history of mutually beneficial economic partnerships, and these efforts to strengthen cooperation in research and development will further solidify that relationship.

However, increased exchanges between think tanks from both sides are the need of the hour. China has played a key role in creating economic opportunities in the region, along with opening new avenues of bilateral and multilateral collaboration through its ventures like BRI and CPEC.

This has resulted in substantial political, economic, and trade cooperation. These were the remarks by the speakers during the webinar titled “Knowledge Partnership between think tanks in Pakistan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Development.

The Webinar was organized by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). It aimed to discuss the long-standing, strong relationship between Pakistan and China in terms of their cooperation in trade and economy through CPEC.

In his opening remarks, the keynote speaker Nadeem ul Haque, Vice Chancellor of PIDE said that both countries enjoy a strong All Weather Strategic Partnership and Friendship with exemplary bilateral cooperation.

CPEC is the epitome of such cooperation, thriving in the length and breadth of Pakistan. He also emphasized the strong collaboration in trade and economic exchange between both countries.

While Farhat Asif, President of the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, spoke about the disconnect between academics and industries in not only CPEC but also BRI. As a result, the latest requirements have been unable to be met.

She suggested that to remove this disconnect, a continuous and persistent engagement between the two sides should be facilitated by both governments, with PIDE being the center point to connect the think tanks from the two sides.

The event was also attended by Tahir Mumtaz, Director of the China Study Center at COMSATS University Islamabad, Xiang Yang, the Director of the China Study Center at NUST, and Dr. Zahid Anwar, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of China Study Center, University of Peshawar.

Also read: CPEC, a manifestation of ironclad Pakistan-China friendship: National Assembly Speaker

In addition, Shakeel Jajja, from China Pakistan Management Initiative LUMS Lahore, Nasir Afghan, Director of China Study Center IBA Karachi, and Abdul Sattar, Director of China Study Center, Baluchistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences, Quetta also participated.

Likewise, Erfa Iqbal, Muhammad Tufail, Patron China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Cell, Attaullah Shah, VC/CFR on CPEC Karakoram International University Gilgit, Amer Z. Durrani, Talat Shabir, Director of China Study Center Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, and Mustafa Hyder Sayed, the CEO of the Pakistan China Institute took part in the online event.

The Webinar was moderated by Liaqat Ali Shah, Head of Policy CPEC. Many students and faculty members participated in the webinar and shared their deep interest in building strong ties.