ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said yesterday that regional integration and connectivity of states in the region was imperative for tapping the immense economic potential.

“Benefits of the CPEC could only be harvested with integration of the Central Asian with South Asia,” said the Speaker while addressing a dialogue on “Role of Parliament in cementing regional Integration” in context of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 

He said that Pakistan was geographically located at the interface of south and central Asia and the Middle East besides being a neighbour of China and linking landlocked Central Asian States with the rest of the world through CPEC would open new vistas of economic cooperation.

He said that the Central Asian countries were already connected by a deep historical and cultural affinity, geographical proximity, and a convergence of strategic and economic interests.

The Speaker observed that modern global and regional politics revolved around geo-economics and in that context CPEC, a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was presenting revolutionary opportunities for regional countries to build strong economic, trade and commercial ties.

Speaker said that economy of Pakistan badly suffered due to turmoil during the last three decades. He said that influx of refugees from Afghanistan and later war on terror, rendered down the economy.