Ex-Pak­istan PM con­fi­dent of ini­tia­tive

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

haukat Aziz, for­mer prime min­is­ter of Pak­istan and an ex­pert on global fi­nance, shared his views with China Daily’sWang Yiqing on the fu­ture of the Chi­nese econ­omy and Sino-Pak­istani co­op­er­a­tion in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. Fol­low­ing are ex­cerpts from the in­ter­view:

First, we have to an­a­lyze an econ­omy over a cer­tain pe­riod. No econ­omy can grow at one rate for­ever. The Chi­nese econ­omy, as I see it, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pe­riod of con­sol­i­da­tion. I’mnot con­cerned about the growth rate com­ing down, be­cause the Chi­nese econ­omy’s ba­sis is much big­ger.

I think China’s re­form agenda is good and needs to con­tinue, be­cause struc­tural re­form is al­ways a ma­jor driver of growth. China has car­ried out a lot of suc­cess­ful re­forms and clearly more will be needed this time.

Sec­ond, since China is part of the global econ­omy, it can­not be im­mune to the chal­lenges faced by other parts of the world. You must rec­og­nize that China is a very big global ex­porter. So, as the global econ­omy slows it will af­fect China, be­cause no coun­try can live in iso­la­tion.

Look at the other parts of the global econ­omy. The rate of growth is much slower. Com­pared with those, China still has a very high growth rate.

I think con­sol­i­da­tion and read­dress­ing the pri­or­i­ties will be parts of the growth process. But more im­por­tantly, the di­rec­tion of China’s eco­nomic re­form is very good. That’s what we should fo­cus on. So I’mop­ti­mistic about China’s econ­omy. One of the chal­lenges is the eco­nomic re­form of pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship. The pub­lic sec­tor is a ma­jor driver of growth in China, but now the pri­vate sec­tor is com­ing up, too. That is one of the big­gest re­forms of China. And grad­u­ally the pri­vate sec­tor will fur­ther ex­pand and im­prove.

How­ever, im­prov­ing the pri­vate sec­tor’s role doesn’t mean the govern­ment’s role of reg­u­la­tor has to change. The com­bi­na­tion of the two is very pos­i­tive.

Pub­lic sec­tor en­ter­prises will un­dergo re­form, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing their ef­fi­ciency and sys­tem. That’s a con­tin­u­ous proc- ess. You must also keep in­vest­ing in and im­prov­ing the pri­vate sec­tor and make the en­ter­prises fol­low in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, which is hap­pen­ing in China.

I see a con­tin­u­ous need for re­form, es­pe­cially re­form of pub­lic sec­tor en­ter­prises. More pri­vate sec­tor busi­nesses are ex­pand­ing, which will ob­vi­ously be value-added to the econ­omy.

Pak­istan and China have stood by each other for decades. Si­noPak­istani friend­ship has been con­sis­tent be­cause it is based on the prin­ci­ples of peace­ful co-ex­is­tence, help­ing each other and cre­at­ing win-win con­di­tions for both coun­tries.

Last year, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping vis­ited Pak­istan and an­nounced a $46 bil­lion in­vest­ment project in Pak­istan as part of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. It was a his­toric de­vel­op­ment and a game changer.

Con­nec­tiv­ity, link­age and in­ter­de­pen­dence be­tween China and Pak­istan will all in­crease through the ini­tia­tive. And I think the ini­tia­tive will also in­crease trade and in­vest­ment be­tween the two coun­tries. As I said, it’s a game changer that will cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for Pak­istan’s growth.

No­body should feel threat­ened by the ini­tia­tive. Those­who­doso should re­con­sider their views, be­cause it is not again­stany­body. That’s the beauty of it. The ini­tia­tive is in ac­cor­dance with the Sino-Pak­istani re­la­tion­ship: mu­tual re­spect, mu­tual ben­e­fi­tand­close friend­ship.

The world should be­hap­pythat the two coun­tries are work­ing to­gether to re­duce povertyand­cre­ate­more­busi­nes­sand­growth, which is good for all. I think there’s a lack of un­der­stand­ing about the ini­tia­tivea­mong­peo­ple in other coun­trieswhoare not in­volved in it. Per­hap­sweshould bet­ter ex­plain the ini­tia­tive toshow­ev­ery­body that it is­not against any­body.

WANG XIAOY­ING / CHINA DAILY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.