Islamabad: The Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would transform the strategic relations and alliance between the two countries into a solid economic cooperation which would further deepen the friendship between them.
CPEC had come on the correct time when Pakistan’s economy was re-emerging after prolong instability in the country said Dastgir at a two day conference on CPEC which was organized by Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPR) with collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation.
He said that, “For the first time in history of Pakistan, one democratically elected government handed over the government to another democratically elected government after completing its five years term and now the current government is also going to complete its term.”
Operation Zarb e Azb was also praised in his speech and he said that due to the operation Pakistan was becoming a peaceful country.
The Minister stated that, “Right on this time when the country was set alone in the international community due to terrorism, our great friend stepped up and offered to start the mega project.”
CPEC would benefit all parts of the country however political stability is one element which still needs to be addressed and controlled for the mega project to be a success.
Chinese Deputy Ambassador, Zhao Lijian also made a statement on the occasion and said that the world largest construction company was working on the Sukkur-Multan section of Karachi-Lahore motorway which would create more than 10,000 jobs for the local people of Punjab and Sindh.
20 camps have been set up for the staff participating in the construction work which would cost up to US$ 2.9 billion he said.
He referred to CPEC as a flagship projects of the One Belt One Road initiative by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping and added that China had invested US$ 14 billion in 30 early harvest projects which are being completed under CPEC out of these 16 are under construction.
He added that Chinese companies were encouraging qualified companies to come invest in Pakistan. Lijian added that in 2013 China was the 13th position on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) list of Pakistan and last year China came to the first position due to CPEC.
It was said that the Sahiwal Coal Power Plant Project would be completed by 2017 and 70 percent of the work had already been completed. The Power Plant would start producing electricity by the end of June next year. The Port Qasim Power Project and Dawood Wind Project would also be completed soon.
Ambassador and President of Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) Sohail Amin said that CPEC infrastructure project which includes Processing and Industrial Production Zones on the Corridor route would connect the less developed districts of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit- Baltistan with various mainstream national and regional level economies.