The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) creates a new window of opportunity for developing countries like Pakistan to improve their infrastructure and will be a gamechanger for Pakistan, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Wednesday.
"The BRI is a great opportunity to improve Pakistan's infrastructure. It has a very positive impact on the countries who are part of the program. Eventually, I think more and more countries are willing to join the program," said Aziz on the sidelines of the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in China's southern island province of Hainan.
He said the BRI projects developed jointly between his country and China will bring further benefits to the people of Pakistan by creating more jobs, promoting transport connectivity and boosting trade and investment.
"For any developing country like Pakistan to grow, investment and infrastructure is the key. So what Pakistan needs fits perfectly with what China is providing," Azizi said, adding that the BRI "will be a gamechanger for Pakistan."
He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a major pilot project under the BRI framework "is a key infrastructure initiative between the two countries to create win-win results."
Projects under the CPEC — a corridor linking Karachi and northwestern Peshawar and running through the populous provinces of Punjab and Sindh — involve energy, transportation, industrial cooperation and the construction of the Gwadar port.
He said the rapid development of CPEC, which will also see cooperation in finance, education and poverty alleviation, has played a significant role in the expansion of the Belt and Road.
Hailing the progress prompted by the Belt and Road, Aziz called the initiative "win-win."
"The expertise China has in the construction of infrastructure is known to the world. So many countries welcome China to invest and build quality infrastructure," he said, stressing that "Pakistan and the people of Pakistan look up to China as a true, trusted friend."
The BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization launched in 2001. The annual conference this year is themed "Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development" and has attracted over 2,000 participants from 60 countries and regions.