PR No. 233 Islamabad

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that within a short span of one year, $30 billion out of $46 billion in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have actualized after many projects are in implementation stage or in the advance stage of implementation. The fast implementation of CPEC projects is reflection of the strong commitment of both China and Pakistan to make the project successful. Private sector should lead in CPEC as governments have minimum role in it and the broader ownership of CPEC lies with private sector because of the private sector investment in it. Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while speaking at the closing ceremony of Beijing Forum at NUST Islamabad.

Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC is stretched to 2030. Initially investment is in physical infrastructure but in the longer run, investment would be made in agriculture, knowledge sharing, tourism sectors etc. He said that China put confidence in Pakistan through CPEC when foreign and local investors were reluctant to invest in Pakistan 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.             Minister hailed the holding of Beijing Forum in Islamabad and said the holding of this prestigious forum in Islamabad depicts the strong bond of friendship between the two countries. Minister hoped that findings and recommendations of this forum would help both China and Pakistan to chalk out future course of action for implementation of CPEC as well as furthering joint vision of both countries. Ahsan Iqbal also witnessed the signing of MoU between NUST and Peking University of China.