Islamabad: China and Pakistan have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in science and technology under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Calling Pakistan and China “iron brothers”, President Mamnoon Hussain has said the $50 billion (Dh183.65 billion) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the latest example of “excellent economic cooperation” as the two countries agreed to enhance ties in the science and technology sector.

China and Pakistan made an agreement to strengthen bilateral cooperation in science and technology sector under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The agreement was made during a meeting between Hussain and visiting Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, who is here for the 18th Session of the Pak-China Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation.

In the meeting, Hussain said the use of modern Chinese technology in CPEC-related energy projects would alleviate the energy crisis in Pakistan and play a key role in the country’s long-term growth.

“We are also interested in benefiting from China’s ambitious China-South Asian Countries Science and Technology Partnership Programme [CSA-STEP] and enhance our economic cooperation through Technology Transfer,” the president said in a statement.

The Chinese Minister for Science and Technology said that China and Pakistan have a long history of working together in various fields, including science and technology.

“He offered to cooperate in all sectors where Pakistan needs Chinese support, including maritime industry, biodiversity, renewable energy, establishment of joint scientific laboratories for the young scientists and working together for the climate change for benefit of entire humanity,” according to the statement.

The president also noted with satisfaction that 17 protocols have been concluded so far in accordance with the Framework Agreement on Science and Technology signed between the two countries in 1976 and the 18th Protocol would be signed during this visit.

He said that Pakistan and China are ‘iron brothers’, strategic partners and good neighbours. He added that “friendship with China is the cornerstone of our foreign policy and our strategic partnership serves as an anchor for regional peace and stability”.

He emphasised to maintain the momentum of high-level bilateral exchanges and enhanced people-to-people interaction.

The president underscored that the CPEC is the latest example of “our excellent economic cooperation”.

Scientific knowledge and technology can bring value addition to CPEC projects, he added.

“We are keen to incorporate this knowledge in our industry for value addition of local raw materials and finished products,” he said.

Hussain said that Pakistan would continue to focus on further enhancing trade relations with China to bring them at par with bilateral political and strategic relations.

Also on Saturday, Wan and his Pakistani counterpart Rana Tanveer Hussain attended the inauguration ceremony of Pakistani Sub-centre of the China-South Asia Technology Transfer Centre and signed two agreements on cooperation.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.