BEIJING   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that owing to cooperation and opportunities offered by the Chinese government and companies Pakistan would be able to get out of the present crisis.

Speaking at Central Party School here, the prime minister said “Pakistan needs investment due to its current account deficit and China through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has given us foreign investment. They have given us an opportunity to attract investment, he said, adding his meetings with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and cooperation offered by the Chinese government, the multinational Chinese companies have encouraged us to get out of the present economic crisis.

What China has offered to Pakistan is a great opportunity, the prime minister said, adding that CPEC was a great blessing that connected Pakistan with China and special economic eones (SEZs) also contributed to the economy. “We need investment in Pakistan more than ever because of mismanagement and corruption in the last 15 years and we have also suffered owing to war on terrorism,” he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s relationships with China were not specifically in one area, they were multi-dimensional and Pakistan would learn from China's urbanisation, environment, waste management with special focus on fighting against corruption and poverty alleviation.

Prime Minister Khan said the main concern of his government was to strengthening state institutions - the strong state institutions were guarantee to a corruption-free Pakistan. Poverty alleviation was his government's second challenge. "You cannot have a society of few rich people and a sea of poor people. You cannot have a society with too much inequality and expect you would progress.” He said that is why they were admiring China, adding that no country in human history has taken 700 million people out of poverty. The prime minister said his government was interested to carrying Chinese experience to bring Pakistanis out of poverty.

The prime minister said in 1960s Pakistan was one of the fastest developing countries in Asia and its economic growth was exemplary and its first five-year plan was adopted by South Korea and Malaysia. Pakistan had quality universities and the countries looked upon it like a role model. Unfortunately, he said, Pakistan lost the way and what stopped Pakistan from its destination was corruption, especially of the ruling class. The country has resources but the money which should have been spent on its development goes in corrupt hands, he added.

The prime minister said money laundering was world's worst problem and major tactic of corruption. He said trillions of dollars were being siphoned off from developing countries to developed countries resulting in deprivation of the poor countries of their resources and foreign exchange and the ultimate sufferers were their poor people.

Pakistan, unfortunately after the mid-1980s had been suffering from corruption, and the menace had grown, he said and added that in that time he was playing cricket and after that he decided to join politics to fight against it.

“A champion is a champion who learns from his mistake, who analyses them and corrects,” he said, adding that seven years ago suddenly people started realising to fight against corruption and Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) was the biggest party in Pakistan which stands for two things, building of the institutions and bringing people out of poverty. The corruption was a white-collar crime and to curb it struggle was imperative.

He said that 30 years back China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was the same what Pakistan’s GDP is today but the way how China changed itself the Pakistani scholars must study. Above all it was the mindset of the Chinese leadership, he added.

He said the total number of people under the poverty line in China was 30 million and their objective in next five years was to take them all out of poverty.

The prime minister said Pakistanis had strong love and affection for China and its people and Chinese government. He assured China that whenever they needed Pakistan would stand shoulder to shoulder by them.

PM reaches Shanghai

After his hectic engagements in Beijing, Prime Minister Imran Khan has reached Shanghai to attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE). The prime minister will address the opening ceremony of the Expo as keynote speaker on Monday (today). Vice Mayor of Shanghai Peng Chenlei received the prime minister upon arrival in Shanghai.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan were accompanying the prime minister.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Central Party School’s Exhibition Hall in Beijing. The prime minister was briefed on the philosophy and history of the school, and contribution in state administration.