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Statement of Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, at Leader's Roundtable on Policy Synergy for Closer Partnership

(2017-05-15) Excellency President Xi Jinping,
Distinguished world leaders,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to speak at this Leaders' Roundtable on Policy Synergy. This is an occasion for us to explore ways to enhance collaboration under the banner of the "One Belt-One Road" initiative, deepen cooperation, and review the progress we have made so far.

This is important because the very nature of OBOR requires synergetic endeavour, constant appraisal, and closely coordinated policies.

As we meet today, the world economy is showing the first signs of improvement. There are also credible forecasts that global trade and commerce would strengthen.

However, we do not know how long this recovery would last because of its many vulnerabilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Two main trends appear to be competing in the global economy. On the one hand, there is advocacy for protectionism and on the other, there are increasing calls for greater economic collaboration for sustainable development.

Pakistan strongly favours cooperation and synergetic partnerships across regions for socioeconomic development and human prosperity.

Against this backdrop, it is imperative that we appreciate the "Belt and Road" initiative in its proper perspective of interconnected development. OBOR, as we know, is now turning into the centre of gravity for half of the world's economies - in Asia, in Africa and in Europe.

The initiative is firmly supported by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. UN Bodies and regional organisations have embraced it, as multiple projects under the "One Belt-One Road" have complementarity.

As part of the same initiative under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor banner, we have made phenomenal progress in a short span of time through active participation in the areas of infrastructure, energy, industrial zones and telecommunications. However, four areas require more focus:

First, overall progress should be reviewed as we all stand to benefit from early harvest projects.

Second, we need more synergy in our development strategies both at the regional and international levels.

Third, this initiative must continue to deliver "win-win" outcomes. All should win. All should succeed.

Four, we should build on the solid foundations of OBOR to make it a living, growing and organic partnership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We applaud China for taking this historic initiative, which now has the complete ownership of all participating countries.

We are all concerned about the existing and emerging threats of terrorism, refugee movements, mass migration, food security and water shortages. However, I am confident that with OBOR in place, we would be able to turn the tide of these threats.

We, therefore, need policy synergy at yet another level. Several national planning bodies, the United Nations, international conferences and regional organisations have developed plans and initiatives on global issues and established partnerships with OBOR.

The new OBOR family and the wider international community should coordinate and synergise their initiatives to create and enhance the space for cooperation.

At the same time, dialogue and communication with nations outside the belt-road routes is necessary to dispel misapprehensions.

Most importantly, the Bretton Woods institutions and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank should deepen their cooperation in knowledge-sharing, development financing and country-level coordination through cohesive institutional interaction.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Pakistan, we are focusing on synergy at three levels.

One, we are harmonising national development plans with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Two, we are closely coordinating with China for planning and implementation of CPEC.

And three, we are liaising with International Financial Institutions for policy alignment.

We realise that this strategy requires constant refinement.

I would like to conclude by saying that in our view this Forum should have at least three outcomes in order to achieve the goal of policy synergy.

First, we should expand consensus for OBOR.

Second, we must enhance cooperation in development and implementation.

And third, we need to prepare a blueprint and roadmap for long-term cooperation.

Seeing the momentum of discussions in the last two days, I am confident that we are well on course for initiating an historic partnership of peoples across the geographical, national and regional frontiers.

Ladies and Gentleman, thank you very much.