Iran, Saudi Arabia eager to join CPEC

Published: October 1, 2016
Pakistan to welcome friendly nations. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan to welcome friendly nations. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has described Iran and Saudi Arabia’s desire to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework as a good indication and said Pakistan would welcome their participation.

“We will welcome both the brotherly Islamic countries if they want to be part of CPEC,” he told APP.

Iran wishes to be part of CPEC: Rouhani

Pakistan, he said, would also welcome and appreciate any friendly country which wanted to take part in the multibillion-dollar flagship project of the “One Belt One Road” initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

CPEC, a trans-regional project, will benefit three billion people of the region through enhanced regional connectivity with Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa playing a critical role in integrating the entire region.

It is a 15-year-long project to be completed in 2030 with special focus on infrastructure development, Gwadar seaport, energy and industrial cooperation.

‘CPEC one of greatest projects in region’

Terming CPEC one of the best and transparent projects where no transaction was directly made by the government, Iqbal said $35 billion would be utilised by the energy sector in the form of private-sector investment while the remaining $11 billion would be invested by Chinese companies in infrastructure development under a concessionary mode of financing.

About the western route of CPEC, he said work on that part of the corridor was progressing at full pace and it would be completed by 2018.

He revealed that the 650km Gwadar-Quetta section of the western route would be ready by December 2016. With this route, Gwadar will be connected not only to Quetta, but also to neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Following completion of the western route, people living in underdeveloped areas will experience a new era of development and prosperity,” he said.

The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to giving top priority to road projects of the western passage. “The road schemes were being funded through the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), Chinese financing and the Asian Development Bank.”

‘CPEC has set foundation for industrial cooperation’

He announced that construction work on the 285km DI Khan-Hakla motorway, entirely funded by the PSDP, had already started after meeting all requirements including feasibility study, project design, land acquisition and necessary approvals.

Iqbal stressed that Gwadar and the national highway network would be linked with the completion of N-85 and M-8 highway projects by December 2016, which also formed part of the western corridor.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2016.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Tariq
    Oct 1, 2016 - 8:44AM

    Please invite our brother country UAE
    in CPEC**Recommend

  • abreez
    Oct 1, 2016 - 9:16AM

    We will welcome both the brotherly Islamic countries if they want to be part of CPEC, but 15% commission from Arab countries is not enough we want 20% from Arab countries and from Iran 30%. You know Iran has some image problem and we have to satisfy Pakistani Royalty, 20% for the bluff master and 10% for other influential Royals. We want other countries like, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia to show their interest in CPEC as soon as possible because next elections in Pakistan will be neck and neck when there will be competition between drug money and commission money.Recommend

  • Counterpoint
    Oct 1, 2016 - 10:07AM

    Pakistan only had brotherly countries and brotherly enemies. Very gender conscious.Recommend

  • Fast
    Oct 1, 2016 - 10:09AM

    Pakistan should accept both countries requests to include them in CPEC. This may bring these two countries(Iran and Saudi Arabia) closer to each other.This will be a great achievement.Recommend

  • sputnik
    Oct 1, 2016 - 10:44AM

    @tariq, plz incite EU, britan, east and west europe, including USA. tomarrow Ahsan Iqbal may announced it ,this is lollypop like Tar Coal, Sandek Project that pak will be energy free country after completion of said project, but nothing happened,CPEC will die with due timeRecommend

  • Unknown
    Oct 1, 2016 - 12:11PM

    We are even ready to let India join CPEC but only if Kashmir issue is solved as soon as possible and put a end to this border fights.Recommend

  • azhar blouch
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:02PM

    that’s very good for Pakistan and ChinaRecommend

  • azhar blouch
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:03PM

    that’s very good for Pakistan and cpecRecommend

  • Xman
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:11PM

    Well, the whole point is focus should shift from useless radicalization to development of commerce and trade. Trade will bring exposure, and thus tolerance. Just do a google map of eastern China road network, compared to what’s absent in western China, which will be built as CPEC opens up shipping lanes and will bring goods to market. Of course uncle Sam is not happy, and is using Modi, as he did Zia in the 80s against the Russians. If only both sides of the border could realize what’s best for their people, and not for their colonial masters. We kicked them out of our shores, but we have not yet been able to kick them out from our minds.Recommend

  • Saeed Masood
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:32PM

    Every country should be welcomed specially Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iran, but every investment should be 100 percent in Pakistan’s interest and every investment should be
    a solid investment, a separate commission should be set up now which should visit with these
    countries and discuss these investments in CPEC in detail and depth. Iran should abandon
    Chabahar with India and join it with CPEC and high light the importance of its relation with Pakistan in clear and easy to understand language…Long live Pakistan China friendship InshaAllah…Recommend

  • Kashmiri
    Oct 1, 2016 - 1:47PM

    After creating the power plants and corridor by loans can you compete with Chinese goods in manufacturing?. Only then you can export the goods to other countries. Also will Chinese allow you to be their competitor in exports? Land route to east china (all major cities in china are in east) will cost 10 times more than sea route. Why should China bring all materials through land.? Also considering the other issues like security, Taliban, bad relation with Afghanistan etc how are you going to pay back the loan. Why should someone use CPEC Everyone is interested in CPEC because it is easy to loot Pakistan.Recommend

  • Bilal Hussain
    Oct 1, 2016 - 2:58PM

    When Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s trade with China will go via Cpec, they will not work for India’s interest to sabotage the cpec.Recommend

  • Usman786
    Oct 1, 2016 - 3:55PM

    let them own part of CPEC road instead of motorwayRecommend

  • Shakti
    Oct 1, 2016 - 4:39PM

    CPEC is beginning to look like UN.
    Can India join too? Please?Recommend

  • Mayor
    Oct 1, 2016 - 4:53PM

    @Shakti No, instead we should be scared of what CPEC might become for Pakistan. It looks like Pakistan is on the verge of becoming super power. China and Pakistan might rule the world I am afraid. Pakistan with its dedicated populace might overtake us in IT. As an Indian I am afraid Pakistan might as well be $10 Trillion economy in 10 years. Pakistan is the future of South Asia and the World. I am very sure once that happens all the UN head quarters will shift to Lahore and Islamabad. Pakistan currency will become a major currency. I read about CPEC deeply last night and I conclude CPEC will be game changer for Pakistan and we must do everything to stop it. Recommend

  • cuban
    Oct 1, 2016 - 6:57PM

    Everyone wants to bid on the projects (including India) – but the whole point of CPEC is “no bid” contracts awarded to Chinese. Recommend

  • vinay
    Oct 1, 2016 - 7:09PM

    dear unknown we indians dont need your CPEC. it’s huge for u begger pakistan but it’s only 2% of our GDP. so keep your CPEC dream with you. thanks for the courteous offer.Recommend

  • Aziz
    Oct 1, 2016 - 8:35PM

    What is CPEC – a wide road from China to Pakistan port. How it will bring prosperity to Pakistan is a million dollar question. Are there no roads now interconnecting all states of Pakistan. CPEC is only for the benefit of China to bring their goods to Pak and Gulf and take back oil. Pakistan reap benefits of roadside tea stalls, kabab centres, wine shops, night entertainments. China is a ruthless country and if they find their strategies not working, they go to any extent. One more East India company as history repeats.Recommend

  • cuban
    Oct 1, 2016 - 10:36PM

    @Aziz: What is CPEC – a wide road from China to Pakistan port
    The vast majority of CPEC (75%+); is associated with power generation/distribution – both the roads and port are distractions promoted by Pakistani politicians. Few who are familiar with distribution seriously believe that China is going to send product produced in Eastern China to Western China (via rail) offload and put on trucks to be hauled overland to Gwadar to be “loaded on ships” for a short journey to ME – makes no business/economic sense.Recommend

  • Raghu
    Oct 2, 2016 - 3:02AM

    Thankyou Nawaz Sharif. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Oct 2, 2016 - 11:09AM

    CPEC is a strategic decision between China and Pakistan. Entry of any new partner should be a joint decision of China and Pakistan. Also Let’s hope this offer is not a ttàpRecommend

  • Jaffar
    Oct 3, 2016 - 11:10AM

    What interest has Saudi Arabia in this. This just wild talking by Ahsan Iqbal. Recommend

  • DNiwasi
    Oct 7, 2016 - 9:16AM

    @Unknown: thanks for your kind offer to India but the sad truth is that China will force Pakistan (I meant convince Pakistan rather forcefully) that Chinese trade and manufacturing interests require trade deals with India on west side.Recommend

  • DNiwasi
    Oct 7, 2016 - 9:19AM

    @Ahmed: Unfortunately, it will be Chinese decision alone, at least until the point in time, all loans have been paid back, $45 billion would have become $90 billion.
    @Unknown: thanks for your kind offer to India but the sad truth is that China will force Pakistan (I meant convince Pakistan rather forcefully) that Chinese trade and manufacturing interests require trade deals with India on west side.Recommend

  • truth teller
    Oct 26, 2016 - 7:52AM

    That’s why you are on CPEC project lol.Recommend

  • truth teller
    Oct 26, 2016 - 7:55AM

    We wouldn’t allow INDIA to become part of CPEC ever and that is good decision but Indian will need CPEC for sure as their population is increasing day by day and they would need trade from every where. So here’s final word NO KASHMIR, NO CPEC :).Recommend

  • DNiwsi
    Oct 27, 2016 - 7:14AM

    @truth teller:
    sir, you will have absolutely no say in the decision about who gets to use the CPEC…just talk to your senators….you are about to loose your last vestiges of sovereignty. Recommend

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