ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday said that Balochistan will be the biggest beneficiary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

In a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Sardar Sanaullah Khan Zehri here, the premier said that the CPEC, Gwadar Port and all other mega projects being pursued by the incumbent government would benefit the province more than any other federating unit.

For decades, Balochistan has been raising voice against the discriminatory policies of the centre which led to its poor development. Balochistan also complained that the benefits of the multi-billion-dollar CPEC project were also being transferred to Punjab. The centre has tried to neutralise this perception through a series of talks with the Baloch leaders.

An official statement said the Balochistan Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister about the progress on various ongoing development projects in Balochistan. “The chief minister lauded the federal government for its unprecedented policy initiatives in Balochistan,” it said.

Prime Minister Sharif stated that the present federal government was ensuring all possible measures for development of Balochistan.

“The improved roads network and communication projects will help a great deal in mainstreaming Balochistan. The province will be the biggest beneficiary of CPEC, Gwadar Port and all other mega projects being pursued by our government,” added the PM.

Separately, Prime Minister Sharif invited the Japanese investors to get benefit from Pakistan’s investment opportunities.

In a meeting with Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobuo Kishi, he said Pakistan offered great investment opportunities in various sectors that can be utilised by Japanese investors.

The Prime Minister emphasised on further enhancing trade, investment and development relationship with Japan, said an official statement.

He said Pakistan was keen to carry forward the shared vision for promoting peace, prosperity and development.

The Prime Minister recalled a cordial exchange with Prime Minister Abe in New York in September 2016 and reaffirmed the common commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations.

He said Japan was an important development partner of Pakistan, adding that a number of important development projects in Pakistan were completed with Japan’s assistance and support.

Nobuo Kishi expressed the hope to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

Earlier, Japan agreed to provide $24 million to Pakistan for Burhan-Islamabad transmission line.

Govt to work with all CPEC stakeholders: Minister

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said that the federal government will work with all stakeholders and remove concerns of the provinces to ensure timely completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

While presiding over a meeting to review the progress of ongoing projects under CPEC in various sectors including communication, railway, infrastructure, energy, Gwadar Port and special industrial zones, the minister directed the federal departments to cooperate with provincial governments to ensure smooth working on the under-construction projects.

“It is good to note that federal as well as provincial governments are working on the CPEC projects together like one team”, the minister said adding that the timely completion of CPEC projects would be a success for the people of Pakistan.

He said that new technologies were being introduced in infrastructure, transportation and engineering sectors under the CPEC projects.

“The economic corridor project has great potential to acquire knowledge by making the most of new technology in these sectors”, Iqbal said.

He said that Pakistani universities and research institutes should tap the opportunities by making comprehensive planning in this regard.

The federal minister directed the Higher Education Commission to prepare a comprehensive report with the help of all universities and research institutes for this purpose. He also stressed the need for shaping up the curricula in line with modern trends and demands.

The minister said that improving capacity building of the institutes and the individuals was also an important goal of the government.

The meeting was also attended high officials from the Chinese embassy and provincial and federal ministries.