Academician Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong from Malaysia and Prof. Manzoor H. Soomro President ECOSF met with Dr. Asma Hyder Member Social Sector of Planning Commission of Pakistan

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Academician Dato Lee, Yee Cheong - the Hon. Chairman of Governing Board of International Science, Technology and innovation for South-South Cooperation under the auspices of UNESCO (ISTIC), Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, the Chairman of Inter Academy Partnership Science Education Programme (IAP-SEP) and Founding President of the Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing World (AETDEW) along with his host Prof. Manzoor H. Soomro President ECOSF held a meeting with Dr. Asma Hyder, Member Social Sector at the Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan on May 19th 2017. Dato Lee emphasized on developing adequate human resource capacity in Pakistan with regards to achieve sustainable development in the country under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said, China has a great potential to develop mega-infrastructure projects under the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative. Chinese can bring real and positive infrastructure development in the region as they can build infrastructure really quick and with less cost, but there is an issue that needs careful consideration, he said. Chinese Government is pursuing a win-win situation but the contractors try to bring everything from China except for the basic labor force, which in the end does not add real economic benefit to the host country. Thus we need to train the local labor force to make these projects sustainable in the long run and transfer necessary technical skills to local manpower so that they become proficient to maintain these projects.

Maintenance of infrastructure would be extremely important to achieve sustainability in these projects, Dato Lee added. Thus ISTIC can help build the capacity and technical or vocational skills of Pakistani labor force to cope up with this issue. Dato Lee affirmed that CPEC is the most comprehensive plan anywhere in the world under the OBOR initiative, as there are huge projects of transportation, infrastructure and energy. In addition, there will be Industrial and High Tech Zones in the region. With this scale of development, Pakistan can be a perfect hub for the maintenance of infrastructure and that would not just bring benefits to Pakistan but also for the most developing countries.

Prof. Lee informed that they have just established a new Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing World and they can mobilize this platform to tackle this issue. In addition, one should also work towards strengthening the collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Engineers and Pakistan Engineering Council to set up a cell to monitor the progress of CPEC projects, he said. Prof. Cheong also touched upon various measures to achieve SDGs and how these were different from the MDGs. He also emphasized on promotion of Inquiry Based Science Education to prepare our young generation for the unknown jobs to meet the future challenges as global citizens.

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