Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms headed a 70 member economic delegation to Egypt early this week before they left on Tuesday, sources from Pakistan’s embassy told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity, adding that the delegation, which included 25 companies held fruitful discussions with the Egyptian partners.
Several memorandum of understanding were signed over the visit which affirms the latest visit success, noted the sources, adding that the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University in collaboration with Embassy of Pakistan in Cairo and the Egyptian Trade Ministry organised a two day conference, CPEC-BRI Cairo Dialogue and Trade Summit in Cairo, where Bakhtiar and Hala El Saeed, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform jointly inaugurated the conference.
“Standing at the crossroad of the future economic perspectives, the Belt and Road Initiative had emerged as the massive infrastructure development initiative of connecting more than 70 nations of the globe,” Bakhtiar stated in his inaugural speech.
“Due to their unique geographical locations and economic potentials both Egypt and Pakistan destined to gain the most out of it. Our macro dynamics and fundamentals are very supportive to gain from CPEC-BRI,” the minister concluded.
Moreover, El Saeed, expressed reiteration of her government support for Pakistan to cooperate on the CPEC-BRI, adding that Egypt and Pakistan are enjoying strategic location on the BRI Route.
Maria Sultan, chairperson at the SASSI said that Pakistan and Egypt were emerging as next global economic leaders and both the states together form essential form of the global supply chain as the BRI would pass through the State of Hurmuz to the Suez Canal.
Sultan noted that CPEC –BRI Cairo Dialogue and Trade Summit provides a comfortable environment and creates opportunities for business development in the region.
Shoaib Siddiqui Federal Secretary Planning from Pakistan and Ahmad Anter from Trade Ministry Egypt also addressed the inaugural session, according to embassy’s Tuesday statement , adding that the Indian Ocean has emerged as the centre for the global trade. Today, 90,000 vessels in the world’s commercial fleet transports, 9.84bn tonnes per year through the Indian Ocean and 40% of the world’s oil supply, also passes through this vast body of water with 19.9% global trade passing through the Indian Ocean, the total global volume passing through Indian Ocean up to 70% of the world trade.
With the emergence of China as a global economic super power, trade through the Indian Ocean is expected to rise significantly within the coming decades, noted the statement, adding that China expects to operationalise its (BRI), which seeks regional and global connectivity through land and sea.
Pakistan and Egypt are two important BRI members occupying key access points along the global maritime trade routes while Suez Canal and Gawadar are expected to emerge as mega sea ports with unprecedented trade volume passing through the coming decades, said the statement.
Given the fact that the trade through the Indian Ocean is expected to significantly rise in the future, huge benefits could be achieved with mutual collaboration and as synergistic development of policy frameworks, mentioned the statement.
Egypt and Pakistan have enjoyed warm and cordial diplomatic relations for the past 70 years, according to the statement, noting that with the opportunities presented by the BRI, it is a need of the hour for Egypt and Pakistan to further cement their economic and diplomatic partnership.
Keeping these developments in view, SASSI organises the trade and Business Summit, “Celebrating 70 years of Pakistan Egypt Diplomatic Relations CPEC-BRI Cairo Dialogue and Trade Summit: Building Partnership for Trade Transformation.”
The event was also attended by Pakistan’s ambassador, Mushtaq Ali Shah, while other participants included representatives from Egyptian and Pakistani ministries, leading members of the business community, trade delegations, academicians, experts and policy makers, mentioned the statement.