Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar attended on Tuesday a state banquet hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping for the world leaders attending the 3rd Belt and Road Forum.
“An incredibly warm welcome from President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan as I arrived at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing,” he said in a post on X, erstwhile Twitter.
The prime minister was accompanied by the senior ministers of the federal cabinet of Pakistan, the PM Office’s media wing said in a press release.
Held at the iconic Great Hall of the Peoples, the state banquet was attended by the heads of state/governments of Russia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and Chile, among several other world leaders.
The prime minister was welcomed by President Xi and First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan.
On the occasion, Kakar also held informal interactions with the world leaders attending the event. The interim prime minister arrived in Beijing on Monday to attend the third Belt and Road Forum at the invitation of President Xi.
Pakistan, China agree to convert CPEC into ‘corridor of growth’
Meanwhile, the caretaker prime minister presided over an interactive roundtable discussion on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Beijing.
The roundtable was attended by a number of academics, scholars, and researchers from notable Chinese think tanks and academic institutions.
Interim PM Kakar shared Pakistan’s vision of the multi-billion project rooted in its desire for regional connectivity and sustainable development. He also outlined the “critical role” of CPEC in upgrading the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan over the last 10 years.
According to the statement, the premier emphasised that CPEC was an “important pillar” in the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, which was based on mutual understanding and respect.
He underlined the “importance of reflecting on the journey thus far, identifying the successes, reviewing the lessons learned, and charting out a map for the next phase of high-quality development of the project” while noting the accomplishments of CPEC in a decade.
Kakar also shared that the two sides had agreed to convert CPEC into a corridor of growth, livelihood, innovation, openness, and green development.
In their remarks, Chinese academics and scholars underscored the importance of CPEC as a “great partnership” between the two countries under the BRI. They also reaffirmed the continued interest of Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s special economic zones and to contribute to the further growth of CPEC, enhanced regional connectivity, and sustainable development.
“At the roundtable, the participants agreed that through collective efforts of the two nations, CPEC can become a pivot for regional trade and connectivity and a bridge for people-to-people contacts,” it said.