Friday, December 15, 2017 | ePaper

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Today, our nation is celebrating the 77th anniversary of the adoption of the Pakistan Resolution of 23 March 1940 with traditional zeal and zest. On this historic day, the Muslims of the subcontinent gathered in Lahore under the inspiring leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and adopted a Resolution, which changed the course of history.
On this day, the people of Pakistan celebrate their freedom. At the same time, it is an occasion for reflection and introspection. Our national objectives include socio-economic development, maintaining cordial relations with other countries, based on mutual respect and promoting peace among nations.
Pakistan is a proud Muslim country of almost 200 million. It straddles traditional routes that link West, South and Central Asia. Pakistan is an ancient civilization and is at the same time, a modern country. The land that constitutes Pakistan has been one of the oldest sites of human habitation. We are proud to be home to the Indus and Gandhara civilizations, spanning a period of 9,000 years.
Pakistan is a land of rich and diverse heritage. Our society is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious. Geographically, our land encompasses deserts, lush-green plains, mighty rivers and some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. Pakistan can also boast of having the world's first university that is said to have been set up in Taxila, close to today's Islamabad.
Pakistan has achieved numerous milestones.  At the same time we are fully cognizant of the challenges that confront us. Pakistan seeks a peaceful environment, and friendly and cooperative relations with all. Economic development is our priority.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a fusion of multiple developments in the global, regional, bilateral and domestic contexts. The ultimate objective is peace, prosperity and well-being of the people of the two countries, the region and the world.   
Pakistan's economy could become the 16th largest by 2050 based on its gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP),  as repored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a multinational professional services network headquartered in London and considered among the 'Big Four' auditors. This means the country would overtake Italy and Canada, which currently rank at 12th and 17th places, respectively.
In terms of GDP at real market exchange rate (MER), Pakistan's economy is projected to rise from 28th place (USD 284bn) at present to 27th by 2030 (USD 776bn) and to 19th (USD 2.8tr) by 2050.
Pakistan and Bangladesh enjoy a very special relationship. Both are brotherly Muslim countries. The two maintain a cooperative approach at the bilateral and multilateral levels. The people-to-people contact continues with the exchange of visits. Our bilateral trade and investment have registered healthy growth.
Bangladesh in its own right is a natural hub between South Asia and East Asia. Together, we can act as a bridge to bring this whole region into an integrated network of trade and energy corridors. Our close cooperation in SAARC and other international fora provides a firm basis for this partnership. Our bilateral trade is expected to reach almost one billion dollars in the next few years. Pakistan's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bangladesh was more than USD 245 million last year. Partnerships in the areas of trade, commerce, health, education and culture have prospered.
Bangladesh is among the leading countries in social development indicators in the region and Pakistan is keen to benefit from Bangladesh's experience.
Pakistan and Bangladesh enjoy a special relationship that continues to deepen, encompassing a range of areas of mutually beneficial and cooperative interaction. Our brotherly relations are based on shared aspirations of peace and economic development.
H.E. Mr. Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui
High Commissioner for the Islamic Republic
of Pakistan in Dhaka

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