CPEC playing critical role in economic, social uplift

Millions of people provided job opportunities since project’s birth

APP July 08, 2023
Over 37% of installed capacity of the CPEC power projects, or 1,980 megawatts, is out of order due to non-payment of dues to Chinese investors. PHOTO: FILE


Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has emphasised that the government is promoting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to achieve sustainable economic growth and social prosperity.

Speaking at a seminar on CPEC, organised by Bahria University Islamabad on Friday, the minister remarked that CPEC was a mega development project, which included schemes related to basic infrastructure, energy generation, Gwadar Port development and industrial cooperation.

Citing CPEC’s birth and benefits, Iqbal stated that the project, which started 10 years ago on July 5, 2013, provided employment opportunities to millions of people across the country, besides speeding up the pace of development in various sectors of the economy.

“CPEC has made significant progress due to the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping,” he said, adding that Gwadar, energy, infrastructure and industrial development schemes were agreed upon during the visit of President Xi.

Talking about infrastructure development, the minister apprised the audience that 11 working groups had been established. Key achievements have been made in the development of Gwadar Port, which has become fully functional.

Similarly, Gwadar airport, hospital, potable water plant and other projects have also been implemented.

He stressed that CPEC projects which had been completed were contributing to economic development and employment creation and were playing a key role in improving the lives of people. “The Belt and Road Initiative, which includes CPEC as well, has promoted economic and maritime cooperation around the world.”

Calling CPEC a story of Pakistan’s development, he regretted that the previous government threw away the opportunity for economic advancement.

Despite challenges, he noted, the current government completed CPEC projects within a year.

Iqbal pointed out that Pakistan had achieved a revolution in industrial development in the 60s, but later geographical and social inequality hindered the phase of development. He believes that competition in innovation, research and creativity is vital for sustainable economic growth and development.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2023.

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