ISLAMABAD (News Desk): As part of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China intends to build a green corridor in the country. This was stated by Chinese Embassy’s Agricultural Commissioner Dr Gu Wenliang on Monday while speaking at a roundtable on “Sino-Pak Agriculture Cooperation: Way Forward”. The roundtable aimed to highlight and promote the ongoing China-Pakistan cooperation under the second phase of CPEC, engaging with stakeholders in discussions on how to benefit from the ongoing cooperation in the agriculture sector. Dr Gu highlighted the need for promoting cooperation in agriculture research, corps variety technologies, improvement in agriculture products and building a green corridor. CPEC would remain an important driver for economic policies environment for the future years. The project is set to make major contributions to Pakistan’s economy by connecting the distant production hubs to the country’s ports. Bruno Macaes, Senior Adviser at Flint Global and a former Europe Minister of Portugal, explored various dynamics of BRI relating to the economic, commerce and geo-political aspects of this grand project, during his lecture at Comsats Secretariat Islamabad. The author of ‘The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order’, Mr. Macaes is the author of several books on international affairs, says a press release. The lecture was jointly organised by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats) and Global Think Tank Network (GTTN) under a Distinguished Guest Lecture Series. The lecture was attended by a number of officials from academia, Comsats Secretariat and GTTN, including Dr S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director Comsats, Mr. Owais Ahmad Ghani, former Governor for Balochistan & KPK, Dr. Shoaib Suddle, Pakistan’s Former Federal Tax Ombudsman and Dr. Akram Sheikh, Chairman of the Board – GTTN and former Federal Minister/Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan. In his lecture, Mr. Macaes explored various dynamics of BRI and delineating that the project is set to form new value chains involving major parts of Asia. BRI, it was noted, is going to improve China’s access to world markets, create more complex value chains and achieve international standards by creating and retaining technological advantage. The ambitious project is going to be major influencer of geo political scenario of the world by establishing a global network of influence. The Q&A session resulted in discussions on creation of more value chains and systems, role of Europe in BRI, risks related to the project, technology absorption and adaptation, geopolitical changes, foreign policy, internationalisation of Chinese currency, and terms of technology transfer. The environmental aspects of BRI were also touched upon. CPEC, it was observed, has become a major framework for economic policies environment for future years. Dr. Zaidi concluded the event with a note of appreciation for the speaker and hoped to work out new projects and programmes under the said collaboration that would be mutually beneficial for BRI and COMSATS’ member states. Pakistan’s southwest port of Gwadar now plays a new role to facilitate transit trade for Afghanistan, a landlocked country in the region, by providing a most economical trade route for the war-torn nation after the first ship of Afghan transit trade arrived at the port recently. Afghan traders use two Pakistani ports, namely Karachi and Qasim in southern Sindh province, for their transit trade, but the Gwadar port in neighboring Balochistan province is an additional facility which is closer to Afghanistan, and moreover, it would give quick clearance of their goods. Experts in Pakistan believed that the start of Afghan transit trade through Gwadar is a right decision in making the port completely functional in boosting regional connectivity and development. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, also chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute, told Xinhua that utilizing Gwadar for Afghan transit trade is a positive and potentially historic development as it underlies the significant role that Gwadar will play for regional economic connectivity. “This also opens up possibilities of Afghanistan joining CPEC which would be welcomed both by Pakistan and China,” the senator said. He said such trade opportunities augur well for the Pakistani province of Balochistan as well, since it means closer trade routes and commercial integration and cooperation among neighbors, adding it would also be a plus for the Afghan peace process, which Pakistan and China strongly support. The Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) said the opening of Gwadar port for the Afghan transit trade will create broader economic viability and choices for business communities. PAJCCI Chairman Zubair Motiwala described the arrival of the first Afghan transit consignment at Gwadar port destined for Afghanistan as a “major breakthrough” and said the Chinese company at Gwadar has also announced incentives for the Afghan traders. Motiwala told Xinhua that the success of handling bulk cargoes in Gwadar will pave way for improving congestion problems in other ports like Karachi and will also nourish competitive landscape that would ensure provision of reasonably priced, high quality services to both domestic and international clients in the region. The Pakistan Embassy in Kabul has said that the arrival of the Afghan transit goods at Gwadar marks the establishment of a new economical trade link between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The consignment of fertilizers would be transported from Gwadar to the Pakistani border town of Chaman covering a total distance of only 1,000 kilometers, according to a statement of the embassy. It would be the shortest distance in the region for Afghan transit goods from any seaport to Afghan cities including Kabul and southern Kandahar. The functioning of Gwadar for Afghan transit trade would bring down the costs of imports and therefore the cost of living in Afghanistan. More than 60 percent of Afghan transit trade is already plying through Torkham, a major Pakistani crossing into Afghanistan, in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan had signed a transit trade agreement in 1965 and revised in 2010, which calls for better facilitation in the movement of goods between the two countries.