BEIJING: Pakistan and other countries from South and Southeast Asia on Tuesday pledged to put greater effort in promoting sister-cities relationship and push forward the objectives of Belt and Road’s initiative.
At an international forum held at Kunming, representatives from governments and business underlined the need to promote connectivity and people-to-people contacts, through the sister-city relationship for shared development and prosperity.
Kunming’s senior official told the forum that Pakistan is their top priority for giving a boost to the bilateral partnership under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is a pilot project of Belt and Road’s initiative. He added that they are going to deepen links between Kunming and Karachi Port that will facilitate trade and business activities between the two cities.
Addressing the forum, Mayor of Kunming Wang Xiliang assured support to all those countries, particularity Pakistan, that are engaged in Silk Route development. They are looking forward to working as a strong partner to improve the quality of life of their people.
The countries which were represented at the forum also included Malaysia, Finland, France, Thailand, Nepal, Lao Republic and Myanmar.
The forum was part of the ongoing South and Southeast Asia trade and investment expo being held in Kunming. Pakistan was Guest of Honour at the event. The Government of Kunming provided a special pavilion to the Pakistani businessmen to showcase their commodities and to seek trade and investment opportunities. There are more than 200 stalls set up at the expo by Pakistani enterprises.
The Forum adopted a declaration, vowing to consolidate sister-cities relationship. It includes regular communication at government’s level, strengthening trade cooperation at the level of enterprises, strengthening cooperation at the level of think-tanks and non-governmental organisations, facilitating investment and trade, establishing normalised sister-city communication mechanism and promoting policy coordination among the sister-cities.
It was also pledged that the regional countries would also focus on cross-border connectivity and implement relevant agreements and MoUs relating to the sister-cities cooperative partnership.
A consensus was reached that the sister-cities relationship could prove to be the most effective platform for business exchanges and people-to-people contacts.