Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor has transformed Pak-China bilateral relations from strategic nature to economic cooperation. China has emerged as a top country in respect of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan.

 The Minister expressed these views on Saturday at Planning Commission during a meeting with Professor Justin Yifu Lin, Councilor of State Council and Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industries & Commerce and former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials from Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

He said that CPEC project has now gained significance not only for Pakistan but also for the entire world. “CPEC has introduced a new perception of Pakistan and relations of both the countries have moved forward from geo strategic to economic partnership”.

The Minister said that China’s FDI was 13 percent of the total foreign investment in 2013, far behind other countries. “But now after CPEC, China has emerged as the top country in respect of FDI in Pakistan” added Ahsan Iqbal.

 Ahsan Iqbal said that Europe and USA remained world leaders in economy for centuries after the downfall of Asia. “But now after CPEC, Asia is regaining its historic role as a leader in industries, trade and economy” said the Minister.

The Minister reiterated that Pakistan wants to further enhance bilateral relations and cooperation with China in diverse areas including trade, investment, education, communication and health.

He also said that the cooperation under CPEC has paved way for a significant change in different sectors, proving a project of sustainable growth and prosperity for the both neighbors. “It has scaled up Pakistan’s growth rate from 2.5 to 4.8 just in 3 years” remarked Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

Federal Minister said China has developed its industry, agriculture, health and education on modern lines adding that on Pakistan’s side, serious efforts are needed to ensure transfer of knowledge and technology. Ahsan Iqbal hoped that Professor Justin Yifu can play a very crucial role in linking opportunities on both sides.

 Professor Justin Yifu Lin on this occasion said China considers Pakistan’s development as its own development.

He said promotion of industrial and trade relations between two countries will help develop a conducive environment for trade in the region. He said that the industrial cooperation between both the countries will help Pakistan to emerge as a new center of trade and industrial production that will enhance export and reduce trade deficit of Pakistan.

During the meeting Chief Economist, Dr. Nadeem Javid briefed the participants on State of the Economy of Pakistan, Vision 2025, growth strategy and challenges

 Prof. Lin is Director of New Structural Economics, Dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University. He is also Councilor of State Council and Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industries and Commerce. He has also served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank (2008-2012).

Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Lin served for 15 years as Founding Director and Professor of the China Centre for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University and is the author of 24 books including; Against the Consensus: Reflections on the Great Recession, The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off, New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy, Demystifying the Chinese Economy, Benti and Changwu: Dialogues on Methodology in Economics, Economic Development and Transition: Thought, Strategy, and Viability.

Mr. Lin is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of the Minister Ahsan Iqbal. He will visit Lahore and Karachi where he will deliver lecture and interact with think tanks, business schools, academia and business community.