A virtual meeting between COMSATS’ officials and the Torch Hi-tech Industry Development Centre of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) was held on 3rd June 2020. COMSATS has an MoU in place with the Chinese MoST for cooperation in various fields of science and technology for the benefit of BRI countries and COMSATS Member States. This meeting was arranged to benefit from the expertise available with the Torch Centre for the establishment and management of S&T Park on Biotechnology in Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS; Mr. Mo Tan, Director of the Division of International Cooperation, Torch Centre, Chinese MoST; as well as other senior officials of COMSATS and Torch Centre.
During the meeting, Gen. (R.) Muhammad Tahir, Advisor (China Desk), COMSATS, greatly appreciated the help being rendered by China to Pakistan for dealing with the current coronavirus and locust crises. He considered China’s good practices and experience in the field of agriculture important for Pakistan and other COMSATS Member States in battling impending threat to food security.
Gen. (R.) Tahir informed that for the construction of S&T Park on Biotechnology in Jhelum, Punjab province of Pakistan, the land is being provided by the Government of Pakistan and the modalities have been worked out. He stated that the S&T Park would be based on the model of one of the Centres of Excellence of COMSATS, i.e., the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), China, which has excellent research and commercialization facilities. He noted that the scope of herbal medicines both in Pakistan and China is immense and both countries can collaborate in this field. He added, the S&T Park once established will work in pharmaceutics, agriculture, green textiles and biosciences spheres and will also benefit other COMSATS Member States and BRI countries.
Mr. Mo Tan, appreciating this initiative, considered the working areas of S&T Park most pertinent to the emerging global needs and assured support of Torch Centre in this connection. He stated that China gives top priority to anything related to Pakistan and any proposal to help the country is always welcome. He gave a detailed overview of the working of Chinese Science / Technology Parks and explained their various facets. In this regard, Mr. Tan shared Torch Centre’s role in policy making and management of S&T Parks in China. He extended offer of participation to stakeholders from Pakistan in Torch’s annual workshops on planning, construction and management of S&T Parks for knowledge-sharing and capacity development. He also invited teams of Pakistani officials to attract Chinese investments as well as to learn from the experience and expertise of Chinese S&T Parks.
Dr. Zaidi appreciated the offer of support extended by Torch Centre to facilitate the establishment of S&T Park in Pakistan. It was agreed that relevant proposals shall be shared with the Torch Centre for advice as well as projection on relevant platforms.