Enhancing China-Pakistan cooperation with new quality productive forces

By Ambassador Jiang Zaidong

Of late, the phrase “innovative economic drivers of high quality” has been the subject of avid conversation in China and internationally. Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the term during a visit to Heilongjiang Province in the northeast in September 2023. He stressed the importance of amalgamating scientific and technological resources to shepherd the growth of key up-and-coming and futuristic industries, hence fostering these innovative economic drivers.

According to President Xi Jinping, the defining feature of these drivers is their innovative nature; they are underpinned by superior quality and represent cutting-edge productivity. Here, science and technology innovation sits at the heart and serves as a pivotal force in sculpting these new economic drivers. With technology and industry rapidly evolving, it’s imperative to grasp these emerging opportunities, invigorate our inventive pursuits, revitalize old industries, nurture new ones, strategically plan for the industries of tomorrow, and polish our advanced industrial structure.

The Chinese leadership is fervently propelling the nation towards elevated development, with these new drivers already manifesting and vigorously driving quality growth. Despite a turbulent international milieu, China’s economy is on the mend and advancing. We’ve made notable strides in creating a contemporary industrial framework, achieving scientific and technological milestones, deepening economic reforms, strengthening security for sustainable growth, enhancing environmental conditions, and augmenting the populace’s overall well-being. In 2023, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) climbed to more than 126 trillion yuan ($17.51 trillion).

The 5.2% growth rate accomplished our goal, positioning us near the summit of the world’s major economies, and accounting for 30% of global economic expansion. The year 2024, marking the 75th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, aims for a GDP growth rate of about 5%, prioritizing the augmentation of the modernized industrial structure and the swift escalation of innovative economic drivers. This will undoubtedly enhance the total factor productivity, establish new propellants and competitive edge for further development, stimulate a surge in productivity, and perpetuate the enduring high-grade growth of our economy, which will in turn offer fresh prospects to the global community, notably to our steadfast comrade, Pakistan.

Pakistan’s strategic location, demographic potential, and resource wealth provide outstanding conditions for its progress. The Pakistani administration’s strategic “5Es” plan, which focuses on growth, safety, reform, living standards, innovation, productivity, and interconnectivity, not only aligns with Pakistan’s immediate developmental goals but also harmonizes with China’s vision for championing quality growth through such innovative drivers. As steadfast strategic partners, our practical bilateral collaboration under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) umbrella promises to bear more rewarding outcomes.

CPEC’s initial phase has substantially bolstered Pakistan’s economic and social upliftment, including the cooperation in renewable energy, IT, and biotech sectors. China aided Pakistan in establishing renewable energy projects, including four wind farms, one hydropower plant, and one solar facility, with two more hydropower projects underway. This ongoing provision of renewable energy underpins Pakistan’s energy security. Moreover, Chinese firms have contributed to Lahore’s public safety by implementing tech-driven projects that significantly boost police efficiency and decrease traffic infractions by 40%. Additionally, Chinese expertise facilitated the development of a buffalo embryo production lab in Pakistan, capable of producing 30,000 embryos annually, to enhance our agricultural alliance.

As CPEC matures into its second phase, both nations will exploit the chance to jointly craft an enhanced and high-standard version of the corridor, converting Pakistan’s distinctive benefits into momentum for growth and aiding its journey towards self-reliance and lasting development. With Pakistan’s new government systematically undertaking reforms, there is a vow to pioneer national development.

China is poised to join hands with Pakistan in realizing the significant agreements our leaders have reached, to collaborate with resolve, advance in unity, link CPEC’s “Five Corridors” with Pakistan’s “5Es” objectives, and foster an even tighter Sino-Pakistan shared destiny for this new chapter. Together, we are set to embark on a promising era of peace, advancement, and mutual success.

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