ISLAMABAD  - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said new technology and modern infrastructure were needed to increase industrial growth and exports.

“Knowledge-based industrial revolution and equipment is needed for high value manufacturing to compete the world markets in an effective manner,” he said addressing a meeting during his visit to the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) Taxila. He expressed the confidence that the government would enhance the country’s existing exports from $25 billion to $150 billion till 2025 as per the Vision-2025. Political stability, continuity in economic policies were key to attain sustainable progress and prosperity, he said, adding: “We need political stability and continuity in democratic system for the economic prosperity. All the developed nations achieved progress and prosperity through continuity in economic policies.”

For the first time in history of the country, he said, an extensive research programme was being carried out for the industrial growth in order to boost exports through value addition.

The Minister said Pakistan and China enjoy multi-faceted relations in various sectors including political and defence. He said that Pak-China Economic Corridor would transform bilateral relations of the two countries into a real economic strategic partnership.

He said Pakistan was going to generate 10,400 megawatts energy through 14 new power projects with Chinese assistance. These include hydel, coal, solar and wind energy projects.

He said establishment of state-of-the-art industrial zone in Gwadar was another core feature of Pak-China trade corridor.

 He said that at a time when international investors were shying away from Pakistan due to security environment in the region, decision of Chinese and Pakistani leadership during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing to take Pak-China relations to new heights in economic field through China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project is a milestone.

The most critical energy and infrastructure sectors related projects will infuse new life into Pakistan’s economy, he added.

He said the projects are in independent power producers mode as investment projects and rejected Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Chief Imran Khan’s assertion that these projects were being financed through borrowing.

Ahsan Iqbal said that these projects were coming under the energy policy which was open for all investors from any part of the world.

He urged all political forces to get united for prosperity and economic stability of the country and added that no single political entity can resolve the issues in current scenario.

He said that the government respects all political parties and coordinated efforts needed to resolve the issues through dialogue process, which is the only solution in democratic culture and agitation, demonstration badly affected export pace and as whole the national economy.

The minister said the country’s 85 percent exports originated from Karachi, Faisalbabad and Lahore, and the PTI’s threat to shut down the three cities was to hit at the very base of the national economy.

Besides, it would affect trade relations with other countries as exporters would not be able meet orders, he added.

He underlined the need on projecting the positive image of country at international level to attract foreign investment for industrial and economic growth.