Pakistan capable of giving trade access to Central Asian states: PM Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday has said that greater efforts are being made for optimal exploitation of Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

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He was addressing an International Maritime Symposium, under the auspices of Bahria University, in Islamabad today with the theme of “Impact of Belt and Road Initiative on Geo-Economics of Indian Ocean Region”.

The Prime Minister pointed out that exclusive economic zone is almost 40% of the country’s land mass but it remained undeveloped.

He said Pakistan is heavily dependent on sea-lanes and therefore, there is need to improve access and connectivity to see for our own benefit and the region.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Indian Ocean Region is one of the important hubs of global energy and trade, adding that Pakistan’s geographical position can provide access to the whole of Central Asia.

“Whenever we visit Central Asian states they demonstrate keen interest in accessing Gwadar and Karachi ports,” he added.

He said we can realize our trade and economic potential by developing our infrastructure and this is being done under the CPEC.

About security concerns, PM said Pakistan Navy is cognizant of them and is developing its capability to counter any challenge.

In his welcome address, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said despite numerous challenges, Pakistan Navy has formulated a robust strategy to safeguard national maritime interests.

He said the Government is fully alive to Pakistan Navy’s needs and providing essential support in meeting the emerging security imperatives.

Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi expressed the confidence that BRI and CPEC would help realize the goal of shared prosperity of the region.

He said China wants to see Pakistan a strong and developed country.

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