Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said multibillion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will not only contribute to the development of Pakistan but also to the entire region.
He was addressing a Seminar titled ‘the CPEC Summit ‘ organized jointly by the Ministry of Planning and Development and a private media outlet in Karachi today.
The Prime Minister said Afghanistan also realizes the benefits of CPEC for the region. It will provide the most efficient trade route to Afghanistan, western China and the Central Asian States through rail and road networks.
He said besides highways, motorway projects and energy projects, the up gradation of main line of Pakistan Railways is also part of the CPEC.
He said special economic zones to be built under the CPEC will provide opportunities to investors across the world to build their businesses and take advantage of the project.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal in his address talked about the progress and development made in the country during the tenure of the PML-N’s government.
“This event proves that Karachi is changing,” he said, adding that when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the city was known for target killings and extortion.
“This is an age of development and growth, with the speed of an electron,” he remarked.
Talking about the Belt and Road initiative, he termed it a huge opportunity. “Pakistan will become a hub of development with the help of this project.
“We made regional connectivity a key component of our Vision2025 project,” he said, terming CPEC the biggest flagship project of the One Belt One Road initiative.
“China extended its hand towards Pakistan when no one wanted to invest even 10 dollars.”
Addressing the reservations about CPEC, Iqbal said: “There are lobbies that are not happy with CPEC — it is not a death trap.”
“Some say China will become the East India Company; they haven’t read history. China seeks partnership. There is nothing to fear for Pakistani businesses, this is a propaganda.”
“Love live China-Pak friendship,” Iqbal concluded.
For the past 40 years, China has made every effort to develop and grow its economy, said Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing in his address. “We’ve combined socialism and market economy to benefit people.”
“China wants to see its relationship with Pakistan serve as example for its relations with other states,” said Jing while speaking on the CPEC. “We look at CPEC as a significant project. I’m proud that after five years of implementation, it [CPEC] has contributed to Pakistan’s development.”
“CPEC is not just about economic growth; we want to develop a community.”
Other prominent guests include Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.