China dignitary's visit set to energize CPEC progress

Ahsan Iqbal hails iconic corridor’s milestone achievements

APP July 31, 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, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, highlighted the momentous achievements made under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the past decade, showcasing the strengthening relations between the two countries, often referred to as the "Iron Brothers."

Addressing a news conference ahead of the visit of the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister to celebrate CPEC's 10-year milestone, he emphasized the significance of the CPEC agreements signed in 2015, which transformed Pakistan's image from a security-focused state to an attractive investment destination.

Commending Chinese President Xi Jinping's pivotal role in enhancing Pakistan's global appeal as an investment hub and fostering economic cooperation and development, the minister noted that CPEC witnessed the successful completion of numerous projects worth approximately $25 billion within just three years.

These projects spanned various sectors, including power generation, infrastructure development, and education. Among these, the Thar coal project stood out as a monumental achievement, tapping into Pakistan's vast coal reserves to contribute significantly to the country's energy needs.Iqbal stressed that CPEC not only created opportunities for Pakistani workers and engineers to gain expertise in modern technology and project management but also facilitated thousands of Pakistani students in pursuing higher education in China.

Grateful for China's steadfast support and investment in Pakistan during challenging times, the minister asserted that China's investment of billions of dollars in CPEC projects exemplified the country as Pakistan's most reliable friend and a crucial partner in economic development.

Discussing the current government's approach to CPEC, Iqbal mentioned that the revival of CPEC initiatives under Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif's leadership demonstrated Pakistan's renewed commitment to economic growth and cooperation with China. This approach had led to positive changes in Pakistan's economy, drawing renewed global interest in the country.

Iqbal highlighted the remarkable improvements in Gwadar Port's cargo handling and the successful completion of long-pending projects that had remained stalled for years under the previous government.

Looking forward to the upcoming visit of the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, the minister anticipated that the event would foster further progress in business-to-business links, industrialization, and cooperation in science and technology between China and Pakistan.

Addressing the ML-1 project, Iqbal expressed optimism that the technical parameters had been agreed upon, paving the way for its implementation in the near future.Emphasizing the importance of continuing the policies that led to Pakistan's economic recovery and development under the CPEC framework, the minister urged perseverance in building upon the strong relationship between Pakistan and China. He reaffirmed that CPEC remained a symbol of bilateral friendship and successful economic cooperation.


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