Shah Faisal Afridi urges government to take lead in developing an information silk road

Lahore, August 26, 2015 (PPI-OT): Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) has urged the government of Pakistan to take a lead in developing an “information silk road” for having maximum benefits out of the economic corridor to be constructed by China in the Asia-Pacific region. In a press statement issued here today, he said that roads and railways are easy enough to build, but it is hard to cultivate mental harmony among people that holds more importance in regional connectivity.

Information has become a core resource and is crucial to international cooperation. “The next leap for regional connectivity is to create Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway”, he said adding that the infrastructure development was progressing steadily for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, but parallel with a communication and infrastructure network connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa, there was dire need of breaking the barriers of information among the connecting nations.

Faisal Afridi further elaborated that People-to-people bond provides the public support for implementing the strategic Initiatives. “We should carry forward the spirit of friendly cooperation of the Silk Road by promoting extensive cultural and academic exchanges, personnel exchanges and cooperation among media, youth and volunteers so as to win public support for deepening bilateral and multilateral harmony, he said.

Faisal Afridi suggested various strategies to promote a well synchronized intellectual and business environment among the silk route countries. He said that we should expand the scope and scale of bilateral currency swap and settlement with other countries along the Belt and Road apart from opening and develop the bond market in Asia and making joint efforts to establish the joint financial institutions like Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS New Development Bank, which will pave way for carrying out multilateral financial cooperation in the form of syndicated loans and bank credits in the region through China-ASEAN Interbank Association and SCO Interbank Association.

Mr. Afridi pointed out that Pakistan had a vast role to play for bridging the gap between political parties and the parliaments of the nations situated alongside the Silk Road. He proposed to develop a concrete agenda to initiate an effective communication process among the states being connected through Pak China economic belt as well as the Silk Road. The agenda should specially include friendly exchanges of the respective legislative bodies and political parties.

Faisal Afridi observed that Belt and Road Initiative aimed at creating a world in which, economically, everyone’s path ends at the door of China,” “But it’s not a path that people are unwilling to walk. It’s not a political domination; it’s more like a stressing of mutual benefits.” he added and expressed confidence that present government of Pakistan was quite capable of taking successful initiatives in this regard.

He hoped that such initiatives would emerge Pakistan as a leader of the region, which would make us able to supersede the so called influence of India in the neighbouring countries. He assured of his fullest cooperation on behalf of the Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry in this move, which will also have the fullest support of all Chinese Companies operating in Pakistan.

Meanwhile Mr. Wang Zihai Chairman Association of all Chinese companies working in Pakistan has also appreciated the idea of Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi for developing an information super highway in the Asia pacific region. To materialize this idea he has proposed to hold culture years, arts festivals, film festivals, TV weeks and book fairs in each other’s countries.

For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Media Manager
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353
Fax: +92-42-35777524
Cell: +92-324-4925611