Islamabad -  Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan has achieved an economic growth rate of 5 percent and global media has recognised Pakistan as a safe haven for investments.

While addressing the seminar on ‘CEPEC Myths And Realities’ at Fast School Management Islamabad, he said that a favourable ecosystem has resulted in attracting the interest of key global investors which are now eying Pakistan as a potential market for investments. He said that CPEC presents Pakistan with a historical opportunity to uplift the country’s status as the hub of economic activity in the region.

The minister urged the audience to prepare themselves in order to benefit from the opportunities offered by CPEC and play a constructive role in transforming the economy to a modern industrial economy by adding value at different levels. The minister apprised the audience that China is promoting regional and global connectivity across the Asia Pacific region as part of its One Belt One Road initiative. Similarly, Pakistan’s Vision 2025 focuses on helping Pakistan to leverage its geo-strategic location in order to explore the inherent economic options, he added.

The minister noted that CPEC is a fusion of Pakistan’s vision 2025 and China's Vision of One Built One Road initiative. He said that CPEC has changed the global narrative about Pakistan. “The country which was ranked as the most dangerous country of the world is now recognised as the next emerging economy,” he added.

He further pointed out that the government of Pakistan's has forced the global media to recognise Pakistan as a safe haven for investments which once called Pakistan as safe haven for extremists. He further noted that CPEC energy projects will result in generation of additional 10,000MW which will be added into the national grid by 2017. He said that increased energy production capacity will help to overcome the prevailing energy crisis.

Ahsan further said that energy mix adopted under CPEC includes coal, hydel and renewable energy projects. He further stated that the present government for the first time under CPEC is tapping the Thar Coal reserves which can be a source of energy supply for many hundred years.

The minister categorically rejected claims that coal power plants would create environmental hazards, adding that Pakistan is using super critical modern technology which reduces hazardous emissions. He said that CPEC is the platform of inclusive growth, which would create 85000 jobs for youngsters.