ISLAMABAD: Speakers, including development experts at a conference Tuesday, called for the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Development Authority to ensure smooth and timely completion of the project.
Chairing a session of National University of Science and Technology conference on CPEC, School of Economics Dean Dr Ashfaq Hassan Khan said, “CPEC is a huge project which needs full attention, capacity, sincerity and hard work to exploit full potential from the project.”
The conference titled ‘CPEC: Macro and Micro Economic Dividends for Pakistan and the Regions’ was organised by Islamabad Policy Research Institute in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation. Khan said that CPEC would change the perception of Pakistan in the world.
CPEC has the potential to change the face of Pakistan as it would contribute extra two per cent in the country’s economic growth, which would rise to 7-8 per cent in next few years, said the dean.
He informed that by 2030, Gwadar Port would be handling around 300 to 400 million tons cargo, which is a huge quantity compared to the largest US port where 80 million ton goods were being handled, while the combined capacity of Indian ports is 500 million tons cargo.
Khan highlighted some hurdles in the way of the mega project which he said needed to be resolved immediately.
Former finance minister Dr Salman Shah said that to make CPEC a success, Pakistan China economic integration should be brought to the highest level.
Citing benefits of CPEC he said that with the successful completion of the mega project, 500 top Chinese multinational companies would have their bases in Pakistan, 25 million people of the two countries would be visiting each other annually, 25 million new jobs would be created, 100 flights would be operated daily between the two countries, one million Pakistani students would be studying in China and five per cent of Chinese total external trade would be routed through Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2016.
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