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PR NO.193 CPEC TO INTEGRATE CHINA & PAKISTAN ECONOMIES FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT OF PAKISTAN: AHSAN IQBAL. Islamabad

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said goal of Chian-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is integration of both countries’ economies for industrialization of Pakistan. China jumped to top foreign investor position in Pakistan after CPEC, whose first phase would be completed in 2018. The next phases of CPEC would run into hundreds of billions of dollars portfolio investment through private sector collaborations in the coming years. Pakistan is also investing in CPEC projects from its own resources along with seeking financing from multilateral financial institutions under CPEC framework. Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while speaking at ceremony to mark 65th anniversary celebration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform. Ahsan Iqbal in a well-articulated address to jam-packed auditorium extensively touched upon the various dimensions of China-Pakistan relations and described the holding of the event at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform a testimony of the fact the bilateral relations entered into geo-economic orbit. “Nature and geography gave Pakistan historical opportunity in 2013 when the prospects were not promising for Pakistan. China put confidence in Pakistan through CPEC when foreign and local investors were reluctant to invest in Pakistan”, he stated and added that CPE should not be construed a bilateral agreement but it has broader regional benefits for whole of region. Ahsan Iqbal said that apart from investment in physical infrastructure, CPEC would integrate the economies of China and Pakistan to develop industrialized Pakistan by turning it into trading & manufacturing hub of the region. Federal Minister said that future of CPEC depends on business enterprises in both countries. “Business enterprises in both countries will take over as they will realize the real potential of CPEC in the coming years”, Ahsan Iqbal believed. Federal Minister Planning & Development said that CPEC would also create a competitive platform through Chinese’s investment & technology combined with low cost of production and location of Pakistan. He said that CPEC would benefit every region and group of the country through creation of ocean of prosperity. “PML-N government is committed to develop all provinces of the country and CPEC would help realize this vision of present government”, he said. Speaking about the progress on CPEC projects, Minister said that Quetta-Gwadar section of western route would be operational by December 2016 that will provide Afghanistan and Central Asian access to Gwadar port city. Ground breaking of D.I.Khan and Burhan section of western route took place and would be completed by June 2018 as per the commitment made with national leadership. Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that due to CPEC for the first time neglected treasure of coal Thar will be utilized for power generation and CPEC will trigger economic activities in far flung areas of Balochistan. Minister said that $35 billion energy component of CPEC would help to overcome energy crisis in Pakistan as well as upgrading the power transmission & distribution system in the country. He said that CPEC also changed the “idiom of friendship” between China and Pakistan. “A friendship once “higher than Himalayas” has gone beyond the stars after China and Pakistan planned to launch a joint satellite mission”, he remarked. Minister said that Pakistan can learn from China’s success, whose development revolved around four factors – political stability, social solidarity, goo economic policies and reforms. On this occasion, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Sun Weidong said that CPEC uplifted bilateral relations to strategic economic partnership and added that economic diplomacy is now playing active role at the state level under the guidelines of leadership of both countries. He congratulated Ahsan Iqbal for playing a vision role in CPEC and his successful visit to China recently. Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform and Chinese Ambassador also jointly cut the cake of 65th anniversary of diplomatic relation between China & Pakistan. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi and Secretary MoPDR&R Yousaf Nasim Khokhar also spoke.

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