BRI would change the development outlook: Pakistani scholar

By Ding Xuezhen, People’s Daily
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a crucial initiative that would entirely change the development outlook, and is of vital significance for regional and even global development, said a Pakistani scholar during a recent interview with People’s Daily.
Iqbal Munir, director of the Institute of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (IBGE) under the University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan, noted that the construction of BRI will also contribute to regional peace and stability.
The initiative is based mainly on joint development and common prosperity, and focuses on building infrastructure to boost economic growth of the region to create a win-win situation for China along with the participants in the project, the director remarked.
Munir has been visiting China frequently over the last few years, and was amazed every time he went there. China has made great achievements and progress in every field of life during the past decades, he told People’s Daily, citing the organized traffic system, highly developed infrastructure, and impressive agricultural technology.
The scholar said that his university established cooperation with China’s Yunnan Agriculture University and Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS) since 2015. He and his fellow researchers are now trying to introduce China’s hybrid wheat technology to Pakistan.
With outstanding performance in both production and resistance, the lines introduced from China will be of great importance in increasing agriculture productivity of Pakistan, where wheat is a main grain crop, the scholar underlined.
Chinese experts are glad to collaborate and share the knowledge and experience they gained in their respective fields of specialization, and have been involved in training the scientists in Pakistan on the latest technologies, Munir said.
Pakistan is an agriculture country, and the government is focusing on poverty eradication and uplifting the middle class through encouraging low-income support programs, according to the scholar.
“Development in agriculture means primary source of income and employment in rural areas and would ultimately help in poverty eradication.” Munir added.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as a flagship project of the BRI, is creating huge opportunity for Pakistan’s economic and social development. The corridor enables Pakistan to introduce advanced agricultural technologies from China, learn from China’s experiences of mechanized planting, and improve its own rural financial system.
Munir pointed out that the Belt and Road cooperation is revitalizing the influence of the ancient Silk Road, and will have a tremendous economic impact on the countries on its roadmap. The changes that happened to Pakistan in the past five years are the best proof, he added.
The Belt and Road as well as CPEC not only further build amiable bonds between two countries, but also vastly benefit Pakistan with many opportunities in developmental sector including economic elevation, job opportunities, training of skilled labour, splendid infrastructure etc, Munir said, expressing his hope for the two countries to further enhance cooperation in each field including agriculture, and further people-to-people exchanges.

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