Zafar Uddin MahmoodFormer Special Envoy for CPEC
Mr. Zafar Former Special Envoy for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had a history of almost 44 years association with China since 1976 when he first came to China as a student. During his study, work and life in China Mr. Zafar had the opportunity to be the witness of the great changes that took place in China’s social values and systems, economic development and overall reforms and opening up.
From 1976 to 1982 he studied at Beijing Language Institute (now University of Language and Culture) to learn the language and later moved to Guangzhou to study Medicine at Zhong Shan Medical College (now a part of the Zhong Shan University). During studies, he actively participated in social activities organized by the Institute/College and enjoyed high appreciation from the teachers
From 1982 to 1991 while working with an international bank, he held different positions at the bank offices at Beijing, Hong Kong, Xiamen and Guangzhou. During these exciting times of historical and rapid changes, Mr. Zafar not only witnessed the changes but also made significant contributions to create awareness about international business. Through bank’s network in 70 countries he facilitated overseas business development for State owned enterprise (particularly engineering contracting firms) and promoted economic cooperation between China and other countries. The bank sponsored various social sector development projects and extended support for educational, cultural and sports activities which were duly recognized and highly appreciated by the Chinese leadership.
While serving as Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan Embassy, Beijing and later as Pakistan’s first Consul General at Shanghai, he made outstanding contributions towards economic cooperation and enhancement in bilateral trade between the two countries. While working as Special Envoy for CPEC, as focal person, Mr. Zafar played an instrumental role in the implementation of Pakistan China Economic Corridor, a Flagship program under the umbrella of Belt and Road Initiative. CPEC so far is the biggest economic development program in the history of Pakistan.
Mr. Zafar has travelled extensively in China and has developed a deep understanding of the culture, social values, society and economic system. During his long stay in China, he has made friends and developed useful contacts in government ministries, departments, State owned and private enterprises, financial institutions, trade bodies, civil society organizations, think tanks, media etc.
Committed to promote understanding and interaction between social strata of Pakistan and China, after leaving the post of Special Envoy for CPEC, he founded Pakistan based organization “Understanding China”. Since founding, many activities including bilateral visits by scholars and media persons, seminars etc had been arranged producing positive results.
Mr. Zafar is currently associated with BOAO Forum for Asia (BFA) as Policy Advisor to the Secretary General