Pakistan, China reinforce commitment to CPEC

CPEC made tangible contribution to Pakistan's development, connectivity in region

APP July 24, 2023



Known as the ‘iron brothers’, Pakistan and China resolutely reinforced their commitment to bolstering regional connectivity and economic prosperity through a decade-long struggle to elevate China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to unprecedented levels.

It was 10 years back, when the two all-weather friends solidified their commitment by signing a multibillion-dollar CPEC Framework Agreement, marking a significant milestone in their collaborative efforts.

China boldly stepped forward, when other countries hesitated to invest in Pakistan, pledging an initial investment of $46 billion that later expanded to a substantial sum of $62 billion.

Now, the two countries are celebrating 10 years of undeterred bilateral cooperation with a renewed pledge to move forward at a faster pace towards the CPEC's ultimate destination of regional progress and prosperity.

On July 11, a meeting of the 12th (Special) Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) was held in Beijing, co-chaired by Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Cong Liang.

During the meeting, the minister said the CPEC was a remarkable endeavour that symbolised the deep-rooted ties between China and Pakistan.

"It has fostered connectivity, enhanced trade, and opened up new avenues for shared prosperity," Iqbal said. "CPEC is the topmost priority of Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership as these avenues provide an opportunity to consolidate successes and enhance future cooperation."

He recalled that monumental event when visionary leaders President Xi and the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had launched this project aimed at transforming the region's economic landscape.

According to a senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the CPEC projects, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), were flourishing all across Pakistan and had attracted $25.4 billion in direct investment from China during the last 10 years.

"After 10 years of development, a ‘1+4’ cooperation layout has been formed, with the CPEC at the centre and Gwadar Port, transport infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation being the four key areas," the official said.

The CPEC framework has created 192,000 jobs, producing 6,000 megawatts of electric power, building 510 kilometres of highways and adding 886 kilometres to the core national transmission network, he added.

CPEC has made a tangible contribution to Pakistan's development and connectivity in the region. China and Pakistan have also explored new areas for cooperation under the CPEC framework by focusing on areas like agriculture, science and technology, telecommunication and people's well-being.

"China stands ready to work with Pakistan to build on the past achievements and follow the guidance of the important common understandings between leaders of the two countries on promoting high-quality development of CPEC to boost the development of China and Pakistan and the region and bring more benefits to people of all countries," the official said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a recent meeting with Chinese Charge d'affaires Pang Chunxue also reiterated that as 'iron brothers' and old friends, Pakistan and China always stood firm against all odds and enjoyed unflinching bilateral support on issues of mutual concern.

Noting the upward trajectory in Pakistan-China ties and economic and financial cooperation, the prime minister eulogised China's support for Pakistan's economic stability and expressed a firm commitment to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries under the rubric of the Global Development Initiative and CPEC.


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