BEIJING, Dec 31 (APP):China and Pakistan are promoting the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and if Afghanistan is connected with the corridor, it will obtain opportunity of transportation and trade development besides enhancing the regional radiation effect of CPEC.
“If Afghanistan is connected with the CPEC, it will obtain the opportunity of transportation and trade development, enhance the regional radiation effect of the CPEC and, help CPEC and the whole the Silk Road Economic Belt advance westward,” said Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law.
Currently, Afghanistan mainly relies on Karachi Port for shipping. After the successful construction of Gwadar Port, it will become the nearest port to Afghanistan, he wrote in his article published by China Economic Net (CEN).
He observed that Pakistan has already permitted Afghanistan to utilize Gwadar Port and Bin Qasim Port as a goodwill gesture to enhance the bilateral economic ties. The transit trade is also imperative for Central Asian states when it comes to connecting with Gwadar Port in near future.
Pakistan and Afghanistan, sharing a border of 2,430 km, are geographically adjacent, ethnically compatible, and religiously identical. They should have been friendly neighbors.
However, due to historical problems and the infiltration of big powers in this region, the relationship between the two countries has been complicated for decades.
When visiting Afghanistan on December 19, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan supports the inclusive peace process of Afghanistan and will do its best to help Afghanistan achieve peace. This visit has significantly consolidated mutual trust between the two countries.
He said that Afghanistan is one of the important countries along the old Silk Road and also one of the regional countries to respond positively to the Belt and Road initiative. Both the government and the people of Afghanistan highly appreciate and warmly look forward to the Belt and Road development.
The Afghan government has identified security, infrastructure construction, the development of private economy, agricultural and rural development, good governance, and human resources development as six priority areas, and hopes to fully promote the construction of regional connectivity in the next 5-10 years, so as to make it an important interface connecting Central Asia and South Asia.
He pointed out that Afghanistan actively participates in regional economic cooperation organizations, including the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) and Central and South Asia Transport and Trade Forum (CSATTF), and hopes to promote Afghanistan’s integration into regional economic development as soon as possible through cooperation in resource development, interconnection, and other fields.
Cheng said that Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has recently said that a boost in trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan would maximize the chances of regional economic integration and enhance connectivity among neighboring countries.