The concept of Golden Ring Economic Bloc was initiated in 2010 based on which the Golden Ring Economic Forum (GREF) was established in 2015. The members include businessmen/industries, ex-servicemen, former diplomats and scholars/experts in the field. The Geographical area of interest is China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey. Central Asian states may also become members in future.
Almost over 30% of the total resources (human and natural) belong to these five countries whereas; these five countries form sort of a ring around Central Asia and Afghanistan. There comes the name “Golden Ring”.
Historically, the region starting from coast of Mediterranean to the islands of Japan has been the area of major civilizations. The Central/South Asia and Persian Gulf regions are full of valuable natural resources. Therefore this area was historically a center of adventures by different powers. Pakistan location in the region is very important. It is sitting on the mouth of Persian Gulf, close to Strait of Hormuz and Indian Ocean in the south. In the north Pakistan borders with China, Afghanistan and Central Asia. West is Afghanistan and Iran whereas, India is in the east. Pakistan’s geo strategic location makes it very critical and important not only for China, Russia and Central Asia but also the oil rich Middle East. Pakistan provides the shortest route to warm waters for China, Russia and land lock Central Asian states. This background leads to a natural formation of a new Economic Bloc consisting of five major countries of the Eurasian region.
The Golden Ring Economic Forum has therefore been formed as a strategic economic policy development think tank to achieve the goal of a bloc.
GREF is governed by its office bearers and Board of Governors (BoG) which include businessmen/industrialist and ex-servicemen. The present Chairman is Maj. Gen (Rtd.) Anis Ahmed Bajwa HI(M), the President – Mr. Hasnain Reza Mirza, Vice Chairman Lt. Gen (Rtd.) Sikander Afzal HI(M), Senior Vice President Mr. Shahid Hassan Sheikh and the Vice President Mr. Yaqoob Tahir Izhar. Other founding members of BoG are: