LAHORE: Senior Vice President SAARC Chamber, Iftikhar Ali Malik has vehemently urged for deeper economic cooperation with China saying that this collaboration will usher in a new era of progress, prosperity, development, economic growth and welfare of the people of the region.
Talking to a Chinese delegation led by Wang Wei which called on him here on Monday, Iftikhar Malik said that China-South Asia economic cooperation would change the global economic order to add prosperity in the region. He also termed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China a big success for Pakistan as it would help Pakistan steering out of the quagmire of economic crisis. Imran Khan’s long run economic approach would also put Pakistan on the path of self-reliance, he added.
The SVP SARRC Chamber said that the Prime Minister has a vision and dynamic leadership quality and he can play constructive role to strengthen SAARC by bringing China in the folder of South Asian countries which would be harbinger of prosperity and peace in the region.
Iftikhar Malik said that South Asia is mired in several crisis and conflicts at the moment due to various unresolved political and geographical factors and all these issues would be resolved effectively through strong regional connectivity and business to business contacts. Highlighting the role of China in building the South Asian economy, he said China is the world’s second largest economy and a global power.
“China has huge foreign reserves and is massively investing in infrastructure in different parts of the world. The cash-strapped SAARC is in dire need of foreign investments to tap into its natural resources. China’s entry will undoubtedly bring dramatic economic changes to the region and the lives of its people,” he added.
He said since the creation of the SAARC Chamber in 2006, the bilateral trade between China and the South Asian countries increased with a tremendous growth rate of 15% annually. He said that South Asia and Southeast Asia have become new driving engines for global economic growth in the region. “Countries within this region are economically complementary and regional cooperation has great potential.”
Iftikhar Malik said Pakistan attaches great importance to its economic and trade relationship with China. He hoped that the China-South Asia Business Forum will become an effective platform for the enhancement of cooperation with China, promotion of regional integration and realization of regional prosperity.
He further said Imran Khan would take steps to bring political stability by bringing all political opponent parties on the same platform of his agenda. He said that stability is a key to making the country an economic giant and this is only possible when all political parties sit together setting aside their political differences to chalk out a comprehensive economic plan for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.
The SVP SAARC Chamber said Pakistan had all resources to become an economic giant but only need is to set directions with zeal, courage and sincerity. He said Pakistan’s huge mineral resources could help get rid of the economic ills. Reiterating his earlier stance, he said PM Imran will utilize his best leadership flair and available resources for the promotion of trade and industry in South Asian region.