Pakistan invites ASEAN member countries to invest in CPEC SEZs
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, July 3 (Gwadar Pro)-Pakistan on Friday afternoon invited the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood delivered the keynote address at the Experts Dialogue on “Pakistan-ASEAN: Shared Future and the Way Forward”, co-organized by the Embassy of Indonesia and the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI).
He encouraged ASEAN member countries to consider investment in the SAEZs of CPEC. He also underlined the importance of the Pakistani business community to see how mutually-beneficial collaboration could be achieved by engaging with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), recently concluded by ASEAN and its key trading partners, the foreign ministry said.
The Foreign Secretary reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to continue working towards upgrading its relationship with ASEAN to the level of Full Dialogue Partner (FDP).
The Foreign Secretary further emphasized the importance of hard and soft connectivity between Pakistan and ASEAN -- including in transportation, communication and cyber domains, between the ports, and among the people.
Noting the steady trajectory of Pakistan-ASEAN relations, the Foreign Secretary underlined the high priority accorded by Pakistan to its relations with South East Asian nations and its recognition of ASEAN’s vast economic potential and its centrality in regional architecture.
Consistent with the "Vision East Asia” policy, the Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthen Pakistan-ASEAN partnership in all dimensions. He specifically stressed the importance of forging closer cooperation in political, economic, security, tourism, education and socio-cultural domains.