CPEC full of opportunities for the whole region, FM Qureshi tells regional counterparts at panel discussion
By Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, June 20（Gwadar Pro）—Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday afternoon told the regional counterparts at a panel discussion, that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) “offered great opportunities” to the whole region.
The FM was participating in a high-level panel discussion on ‘Regional Cooperation in Asia’ along with the foreign ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, in Turkey.
In his speech, released here by the foreign ministry, FM Qureshi noted that CPEC, as a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, was full of opportunities for the countries of the region.
Highlighting the potential of Asia in the 21st Century, the foreign minister drew attention to the possibilities of cooperation that existed on the continent.
He emphasized that connectivity and greater regional integration in the form of trade and investment would pave the way for a successful Asian century.
Foreign minister Qureshi also underlined three pillars of Pakistan’s policy of regional connectivity, development partnerships, and peace and prosperity.
In his remarks, he laid out five steps to promote greater regional cooperation in Asia, including focus on sustainable development, poverty alleviation, engagement with the international community and international financial institutions for debt relief for the developing countries in Asia in order to provide them with fiscal space to deal with the challenges, arresting illicit financial flows out of Asia gained from proceeds of crime and corruption and tackling climate change.
The FM called for a renewed focus on geo-economics by the Asian countries and stressed the need for promotion of a rules-based global order.
Foreign minister Qureshi also highlighted the challenges being faced by Asia in the form of unresolved disputes, tensions induced from within and without, renewed arms race, containment policies, unilateralism, poverty, COVID-19 and climate change.
The FM, is on an official visit to Turkey to participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, where several global political leaders, and diplomats have gathered for discussions on important thematic global issues. The theme of the Forum is' Innovative Diplomacy: New Era, New Approaches.’
During the discussion, the foreign ministers on the panel called for increased multilateralism to deal with the challenges faced by Asia and agreed on the need for a renewed focus on transit and connectivity projects in the region.