Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad organized an International Conference on “Cross-Regional Media Fusion among the Belt and Road Partners” on 17th December 2019, at Hotel Margala, Islamabad. Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information & Broadcasting was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
The Guest Speakers of the Conference included prominent international speakers with media background from Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan who provided valuable insight regarding the topic.
The session commenced with the opening remarks by Major General Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery HI(M), (Retd), President CGSS who stated that BRI is a comprehensive project to promote regional connectivity.
Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan dilated on the significance of media fusion of BRI states. She stated that President Xi Jinping’s vision of BRI is a harbinger of new era of connectivity and will bridge the gap between North and South. Sustainable progress is being made in the CPEC project and emphasis is being made on socioeconomic development and agriculture sector. BRI and CPEC are reshaping the geo-economic landscape and bringing prosperity not only for Pakistan but shared development for the entire region. CPEC has created twenty thousand scholarships for the students of Pakistan and one thousand schools will be developed under this project. Scope of CPEC has been broadened to benefit the people of Pakistan. Dr. Firdous appreciated the positive role of media in Pakistan to eliminate the negative propaganda against CPEC. She stated that organization of such conferences and discussion forums is the major way to exterminate such misconceptions. BRI is the future of the region.
Madam Pang Chunxue, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Islamabad stated that China is the engine of economic growth and has brought more opportunities for shared development for all partners. China is building a new model that features no conflict, rejects cold war, power politics and creates win-win situation for all. China has promoted peaceful diplomacy and cooperation that aims at building a world with shared prosperity. In a nutshell, peace and stability is the need of the time and BRI is important to achieve this goal. BRI will cut the global cost on trade.
From Uzbekistan, Mr. Ismailov Muzaffar, Chief Editor, UZREPORT, Tashkent presented his views on Uzbekistan’s new strategy of development through media integration. He stated that Uzbekistan is working diligently for media development and many new government and private channels have been launched with the objective to create awareness among the masses regarding the real facts of the BRI project. The main focus is to promote useful information and discuss it from methodological point of view.
Representing Azerbaijan, Mr. Shahin Jafarov, Senior Correspondent, Azerbaijan State News Agency, Baku stated that BRI is not only a financial project but is also a cultural project that helps in connecting different communities and promotes regional integration and mutual cooperation. He stated that we have gained infrastructural achievements through BRI and have established six new international airports.
Mr. Asad Inam, CEO, X2O (PVT) Ltd stated that Asia in the past had no comparison with the other continents but through China’s initiative of BRI, Asia is now considered as the biggest economies in the world. All this progress that has been made can be promoted through media. Advertising can play a very vital role for BRI. He stated that interaction must be developed on the Government level and international markets must be established to promote regional cooperation.
Mr. Uladzislau Sychevich, Journalist, Publishing House “Belarus Today”, Minsk from Belarus in his speech highlighted the strategic importance of Belarus. He stated that geographical position of Belarus is very significant for BRI. In 2016, media international forum was established to promote exchange of information and cooperation. BRI is the key to regional transformation. He stated that Belaurs24 is being broadcasted in 100 countries of the world and telecasts positive news in the BRI information sphere.
Ambassador Akbar Gasemi – Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Iran stressed upon Iran’s strategic partnership with Beijing, He stated that we are experiencing international regional development in its critical condition. Pakistan has decisive role being a regional actor for security and development. Media has its constructive role to promote exclusive cooperation in west and Asian region.
Mr. Mudassar Tipu, Director General China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad highlighted the regional cooperation through the platform of Media. He stated that CPEC is a priority project. Pakistan’s media is very vibrant but we must make sure that the news that is being reported is objective and not false. We believe that CPEC is a guaranteed progress initiative and will bring a qualitative shift for Pakistan’s image.
The second session commenced with the speech by Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Chairperson Strategic Policy Planning Cell (SPPC), Prime Minister Secretariat, Islamabad who was Guest of the Honor. He stated that BRI must not be observed on infrastructural basis rather it must be analyzed in terms of connectivity. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision is based on economic diplomacy through integration with global market. South Asia is the least integrated region in the world. BRI is the key pillar in establishing people to people contact. Acceptance and celebration of diversity is the need of the time and information sharing platforms must be developed regarding the BRI project.
Dr. Hunag Chu-xin, Deputy Director General & General Secretary, New Media Research Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing from China presented recommendations on how to deeply integrate media of different regions. He stated that we must make better use of different cooperation platforms in the aspect of more targeted news convergence and distribution and video programs production.
Mr. Noorul Ameen Izzadeen, Deputy Editor, The Sunday Times, Colombo while representing Sri Lanka presented insight on the inter linkages between media industry to strengthen China – Sri Lanka alliance. He stated that BRI is playing a very positive role in promotion and enhancement of bilateral and multilateral relations, promotion of justice, shared values and cooperation. He stated that more awareness must be created regarding BRNN amongst the BRI partners as very less people knows about it. China is the biggest trading partner of Sri Lanka and also the largest donor which will be further enhanced through BRI.
From Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Adilet Adenisov, Expert from President Press Service, Bishkek presented speech on Belt and Road Initiative and opportunities through media exchange. He stated that BRI aims to improve economy of more than 60 countries. BRI covers almost the 75% population of the world and wide range of area is now joined by BRI.
From Tajikistan, Mr. Qanoatullo Saifulloev, “Khovar” News Agency, Dushanbe stated that the goal of BRI is integrated common development. Revival of new Silk Road has created a new phase in the Tajikistan and China relations. Imperative points for Tajikistan is improvement of the transit, construction of highways, tunnels and multilateral cooperation.
Mr. Saeed Javed, Director General External Publicity Wing, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Islamabad stated that BRI is increasing the growth potential of approximately 4.6 billion people contributing 61% of the world’s population. BRI is essential for promoting trade and business linkages and absorption of immense resources. BRI is boosting regional cooperation and transportation system. Pakistani media consists almost hundred of of TV channels and thousands of trade publications, therefore electronic media is essential to convey factual information regarding BRI initiative.
Approximately 300 people including diplomats, policy experts and media personalities attended the Conference.