Regional economy hinges on Afghan peace: minister 

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ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that peace in Afghanistan was vital for regional prosperity, adding that many development opportunities have been missed in the past owing to conflicts in Afghanistan.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute in Islamabad on Thursday, the minister said that political solution to Afghanistan issue would bring about economic progress and development in the region.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, IPRI president and foreign delegates were also present on the occasion.

The minister said that Pakistan was focusing on cooperation in the energy sector at regional level. “Pakistan is heading towards industrial development as different countries are heavily investing in its economy, particularly in the e-commerce sector,” he added.

Bakhtiar underscored that Pakistan should also invest in research and development to ensure the growth of all sectors on the pattern of China.

Talking about China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the minister said that under the CPEC framework, other countries could also become partners and make investments. He stated that the incumbent government has quickened the pace and implementation of CPEC projects while hurdles related to such projects have been largely removed.

Bakhtiar noted that there was tremendous trade potential in the region and Pakistan could play an important role in the promotion of trade linkages between Central Asia and South Asia.

The minister called for initiating joint ventures with the private sector for sustained economic growth. He added that a business-to-business forum has been formulated between the investors of Pakistan and China in order to expedite the development process.

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