ISLAMABAD: Dr Huang Ying, Researcher from the Institute of World Economic Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a very important project for the connectivity and development of both countries. She expressed these views in an exclusive interview to Daily Times. On China- Pakistan economic cooperation, Dr Huang Ying said that the two countries have excellent political relations and both wield great potential on the economic front. Pakistan has responded positively to the initiative of ‘One Belt One Road’, and the two countries can work together to enhance connectivity. The ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative has the potential to help South Asia bolster its economy; a region considered the least connected in terms of infrastructure, trade and investments. She said that China and Pakistan could achieve more progress in terms of trade, finance and people to people contact. On CPEC, she said that it was a very important project. China plans to build six important economic corridors in the future and CPEC is one of them. Already, some progress has been achieved and a fleet of container cars has arrived at Gwadar Port, the first arrival since the CPEC project was launched in 2013.The 31-car fleet, carrying construction material and mechanical equipment, departed from Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur. She said that through the projects both countries would step up economic, trade and commercial relations. On the issue that bilateral trade with Pakistan is in favour of China, Dr Ying said that this issue has been debated on many occasions. Both countries are on different stages in perspective of economic developments, China is on mid and later stages on industrialisation and Pakistan on the initial stage, so their economic structure is highly complementary to each other. ‘At this stage, maybe trade is in favour of China. But with adjustment of two economies, trade balance can shift in future. At the later stage, China can invest more in Pakistan and can help to facilitate economic structure and global competitiveness of Pakistan,’ she said. She also said that SARRC was also an important regional forum where many things could be settled by regional powers of the region. She said that China gave more importance to this region and along CPEC, another corridor has been planned with Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. It is also an important economic project for China. Regarding full membership of China in SAARC, Dr Ying said that China adopted a very open attitude towards the other regional mechanisms. China has very good relations with central Asian States with help of regional bloc like SCO and with the Southeast Asian Nations through (ASEAN), which are aimed at accelerating economic growth, social progress, and socio-cultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully. “I am in favour of China’s full membership in SAARC. Currently it has observer status and later on can be full member,” she added. She said that China has in future huge interests in this region along its southern border.