Imran urges BRI nations to establish tourism corridor - GulfToday

Imran urges BRI nations to establish tourism corridor

ImranBRF750

Imran Khan speaks during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday. Fred Dufour / AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday urged for the creation of a tourism corridor between member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in order to promote regional connectivity.

While addressing a leaders’ round table conference in China, the prime minister congratulated President Xi Jinping on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and said that China is an example of “a great success of the modern age.”

Imran also asked the participant countries of the BRI to join hands in fighting climate change by planting 100 billion trees and combat corruption.

The prime minister suggested a five-point road map to direct efforts and focus on the peoples of the participating countries, and towards addressing impediments on their way to sustainable growth.

Speaking on the theme of “Shaping a Brighter Future,” told the gathering comprising around 37 world leaders the urgency to create a poverty alleviation fund and the importance of efforts to further liberalise trade and investment flows.

He suggested that members of the BRI should: Establish a BRI Tourism Corridor for cultural and tourism exchanges.

Develop programmes for improving the skills of labour from labour-surplus countries to assist the labour-deficient countries.

Create multi-lingual digital platforms for connecting producers, consumers, and skilled job-seekers.

While explaining to the members of the conference, the ties between Pakistan and China have cultivated through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that “to further boost connectivity and benefits under the Belt Road Initiative’s umbrella” digital connectivity amongst member countries is key.

“We should also consider digital connectivity, mobility of labour and transfer of skills, cultural links and knowledge and innovation connectivity to further expand the scope of the BRI,” Imran said.

“To implement these additional areas of connectivity the BRI countries should establish a Tourism Corridor for cultural tourism exchanges. They should develop programmes for improving the skills of labor from labor surplus countries to assist the labor deficient countries,” he said.

“We should also create multi lingual digital platforms for connecting producers, consumers and skilled job seekers. Pakistan is at the cross-roads of important regions. Throughout our history, we have connected ideas, cultures and commerce,” Imran continued.

“Connectivity has been a part of our heritage and the CPEC is giving it modern shape in the 21st century. President Xi Jinping has given the BRI vision to break barriers, connect people, integrate economies and share prosperity,” the prime minister said.

“Pakistan is privileged to have been an early partner of China. Under the CPEC, we are building highways, modernising rail network, setting up power plants, establishing port and special economic zones. CPEC is not a transaction rather it is a transformation of our society,” the premier asserted. Imran said the connectivity of Gwadar Port with China’s Xinjiang region will “provide a shorter route for China’s imports compared to the South China Sea, reduce the cost for Chinese companies, and develop western China as well.”

He emphasised that “CPEC is not a transaction. It is a transformation of our society.”

Imran also highly appreciated the tremendous development of China and lifting of over 700 million people out of poverty within a short span of three decades.

On Friday, in his speech at the inaugural session of the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing, Imran had said: “As the Belt and Road Initiative takes a further concrete shape, I suggest we direct our efforts and focus on the peoples of our countries, and towards addressing impediments on their way to sustainable growth.”

Imran is among the 37 heads of state and government participating in the second edition of BRF, which is a platform for BRI partners to come together for reviewing their cooperation under the programme and charting the roadmap for future. As many as 122 states and 49 international organisations are part of Chinese BRI.

The five-point action plan proposed by the prime minister included joint efforts for mitigating climate change, establishing a BRI tourism corridor for promoting people-to-people contacts and inter-cultural understanding, setting up an office of anti-corruption cooperation, creating a poverty alleviation fund, and further liberalising trade and investment flows by encouraging private sector and businesses to collaborate in projects.

Agencies