CHICAGO - Pakistan and China are on track towards opening up a world of trade and investment opportunities by building road, railway and energy connections between the port city of Gwadar and the Chinese city of Kashgar, Consul General Faisal Niaz Tirmizi has said. In a speech on “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - A world of Opportunities” at an event, he said that this project would bring progress and prosperity to the region.

The event — organized at the Consulate General of Pakistan in collaboration with Central Asian Productivity Research Center (CAPRC), Chicago — was attended by a number of chief executive officers (CEOs) of Chicago-based businesses, business analysts, members of CAPRC and representatives of Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Harry Lepinske, the CPARC Chairman; Ms Laura Ortega, Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce; Timothy Sanders, Director of Engagement and Government Liaison, Purdue University; and Gary Camarno, Economic Development Director of Whiteside County, were among those participants in the discussion about various aspects of business potential in Central and South Asian countries, with particular reference to Pakistan’s geographical importance in connecting these fast developing regions.

Ms Ortega, Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, gave a special briefing on the opportunities for Pakistani businesses in the U.S. State of Illinois. She was urged to look into the possibility of taking investments from Illinois to Pakistan.

In his keynote address, Tirmizi, the Pakistani Consul General in Chicago, called Pakistan an ideal investment destination in Asia, with a middle class of 50 million and per capita income of nearly $5,000 in terms of purchasing power. In addition, the country had a workforce of under 30 years age bracket.

The Consul General also briefed the participants about the economic revival of Pakistan under the present government and its investment-friendly policies that have been acknowledged by leading international publications, fund managers and rating agencies.

He concluded the discussion with a presentation on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which, he called, a symbol of hope for the country.