The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Guangxi Institute of Administration on Tuesday signed an agreement to provide academic support to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Under the agreement, the two sides will develop collaborative partnership for providing training to their students and faculty members in specific disciplines that help to promote the concept of CPEC.While welcoming the seven-member Chinese delegation that visited the university to sign the agreement, AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that the AIOU and some Chinese universities were working together to set up Chinese language and culture centres in Pakistan. Such a cooperation, he said was in line with the CPEC’s framework. China, he added is their best friend and the government of Pakistan is actively engaged in strengthening their decades’ old partnership in all fields of bilateral interest, including education.The agreement was signed by AIOU Registrar Dr Muhammad Zaigham Qadeer and the leader of the delegation Lu Jia Xing. Lu Jia Xing in his remarks said that Sino-Pak relationship was getting stronger with the passage of time and the CPEC works as a major source to bring the people of the two countries closer. Guangxi Institute is a high-profile educational institution that provides training to elected mayors and the officers of the Chinese government.He said that they are visiting Pakistan to explore opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation in the educational sector, under the structural arrangement of CPEC and Belt & Road Initiative. The agreement will facilitate both sides to develop cooperative training programmes as per their local requirements. The cooperation will also include collaborative research programmes on One Belt & One Road. The agreement will be effective for a period of five years. Earlier, the coordinator and focal person of AIOU’s International Collaboration & Exchange Office, Dr Zahid Majeed gave a presentation on the academic profile of the university. The members of the delegation were taken around the various departments of the university. They were highly impressed by the university’s academic and infrastructural network and showed keen interest for learning from each other’s experience for professional development.Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.