“The real beauty in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the spirit of sharing, China shares its success with developing countries,” said Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, on Wednesday.
During the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2023 in China, Iqbal said, “BRI welcomes everyone to jointly explore opportunities for shared growth and provides developing countries with the most critical investment to fill gaps in the economy.”
“For example, When Pakistan was only able to provide electricity for 16-18 hours a day, China-under the BRI-allowed its companies to invest in the energy sector when no other foreign investors were coming,” he said, adding that, “Over the years, China has actively shared its own successful development concepts, models, roads and plans, providing a broad cooperation platform for developing countries and helping promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”
As for the future, Iqbal believes that the world is going through the process of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation.
If digitalisation is not caught up, the gap between rich and poor will widen. The high-tech companies and communication companies in BRI have boosted Pakistan’s digital development, enabling technology to enhance education and facilitate life.
Projects like this could provide lessons for other regions as they catch up on the digital wave, CEN reported.
“Among 100 people, 94 people can connect physically, but only 54 can connect to the Internet,” he said.
The federal minister hopes that BRI will help Pakistan introduce more high-tech and communication companies, providing more people with the possibility to gain digital connectivity.
The BFA Annual Conference 2023, held from March 28-31 in Boao, Hainan, is under the theme of “An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development amid Challenges.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2023.
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