Italian Perceptions of Regional Connectivity Under BRI and CPEC
January 28, 2020
“Until few years ago, people only spoke about communication. Now, however, ‘connectivity’ is the most important word. If you have a connection, you exist, if you don’t, you can’t survive.” This was stated by Prof. Andrea Margelletti, Chairman of the Centre for International Studies (Ce.S.I.) in Rome, Italy during his address at a Public Talk on ‘Italian Perceptions of Regional Connectivity Under BRI and CPEC.’ The event was organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) today under its Distinguished Lecture Series. Policy makers, diplomats, academics and students were present on the occasion.
Prof. Margelletti discussed opportunities in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. He said that BRI seems an incredible world plan that is poised to change the face of Asia. Hence, countries should avail the opportunities being provided by the Chinese government. However, it is important that these countries should not forget their national interests in the process. He went on to talk about how in the present age of digitalization, there is no room to take a wrong decision. He went on to talk about how experiences of 2003 and 2007 have shaped the new American structures. However, Italy does not want to participate anymore in a ‘nation building situation,’ he said.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, said that since the signing of the MoU between China and Italy, there has been a debate about the feasibility of the BRI with regard to the Italian economy. He asserted that the concerns regarding the debt in relation with BRI has less to do with facts and more to contain China’s rise. In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG, ISSI, stated that BRI provides another opportunity to cement ties between Pakistan and Italy. If the international community adopts a constructive approach towards BRI, then it will be in the interest of all the stakeholder, he said.