ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had transformed Pak-China bilateral relations from strategic to economic.

“China has emerged as a country with largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan,” he added.

Talking to Professor Justin Yifu Lin, Councillor of State Council and Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industries & Commerce and former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, the minister said, “The CPEC has now gained significance not only for Pakistan but also for the entire world. It has created a new perception about Pakistan and relations of both the countries have moved forward from the geo- strategic to economic.”

Ahsan further said that China’s FDI was 13 percent of the total foreign investment in 2013; far behind than other countries. “But now after work on the CPEC has begun, China has emerged as a leading Foreign Direct Investor in Pakistan,” he informed.

Ahsan said that Europe and USA remained world leaders in economy for centuries after the downfall of Asia. “But now after CPEC, Asia is regaining its historic role as a leader in industries, trade and economy,” said the minister.

He reiterated that Pakistan wanted to further enhance bilateral relations and cooperation with China in diverse areas, including trade, investment, education, communication and health.

“The CPEC has scaled up Pakistan’s growth rate from 2.5 to 4.8 percent just in 3 years,” Ahsan commented.

Federal Minister said that China had developed its industry, agriculture, health and education on modern lines, adding that on Pakistan’s side, serious efforts were needed to ensure transfer of knowledge and technology.

He hoped that Professor Justin Yifu would play a very crucial role in linking opportunities on both sides.

Speaking on the occasion, Yifu said China considered Pakistan's development as its own development.

He hoped that promotion of industrial and trade relations between the two countries would help Pakistan emerge as a new centre of trade and industrial production.

During the meeting Chief Economist Dr Nadeem Javed briefed the participants on the state of Pakistan’s economy, Vision 2025, growth strategy and challenges.

Yifu is Director of New Structural Economics, Dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University.

He is also a Councillor of State Council and Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industries and Commerce.

He has also served as a Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank (2008-2012).

Prior to joining the bank, Yifu served for 15 years as Founding Director and Professor at the China Centre for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University and is the author of 24 books, including Against the Consensus: Reflections on the Great Recession, The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off, New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy, Demystifying the Chinese Economy, Benti and Changwu: Dialogues on Methodology in Economics, Economic Development and Transition: Thought, Strategy, and Viability.

He is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Ahsan Iqbal.

He will also proceed to Lahore and Karachi, where he will deliver lectures and interact with business think tanks, academia and business community.