Ahsan terms CPEC game-changer

KARACHI – Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said Pakistan’s 2025 vision based on international connectivity, CPEC is the win-win situation for the whole region.

Addressing at the “CPEC Business Opportunities Conference & Exhibition” held here Tuesday at local hotel, he said that CPEC is the game-changer for Pakistan we are now moving very fast and this is the demand of the time as no country can compete if it remains complacent. We cannot remain idle, if world goes slow we need create new demands. There are around 3 billion people living in this region and 25 per cent GDP, he held.

He added that under the CPEC around $35 billion has been earmarked for energy projects. The change is that earlier we were depending 70 per cent on hydel power and then we moved on foreign fuels now the Thar Coal has been indigenous source of generating cheap power.

“We are focusing to generate cheap electricity through the use of coal. We are also building solar, hydel power plants”, he added.

The interior minister said: “To promote cooperation in fields of thermal power, hydropower and new energy, Chinese enterprises have been engaged to invest in Pakistani energy projects and make optimal utilization of the local resources, such as the Thar Coal mine etc. Investments have been made to remove the power bottleneck; reinforce the main grid structure and power transmission and distribution network, and improve power supply reliability. He said Pakistan will get more benefits as well by building industrial partnership. Pakistan has the potential to become tiger of the region.”

Moreover, Pakistan can avail the opportunities by capturing more share of the job relocation which will take place in China and companies will move in other low cost labour countries there will be around 85 million jobs, Ahsan said.

He also discussed Gwadar projects, economics zones and removing of the bottlenecks. He said we have plans to go forward towards industrial parks. Our long term plan to get benefits of strong fibber optics, information technology, cloud technology, big data, 3g, 4g technology etc.

Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of China Zhao Li Lian also talked about the importance of CPEC. He elaborated the importance of one belt one road initiative. He said Pakistan has more advantage in progress and projects are being completed in less time as compared to China. China took around 10 years to cope with energy challenges while Pakistan needs only 5 years to overcome its energy crises. He said Pakistani companies will find more benefits in investing in China. CPEC will promote business in both the countries. He said China today is more developed country and presents unmatched facilities to Pakistani companies, its infrastructure, industrial parks, free trade zones, economic zones, industrial parks and good practice in companies are big features.

He said China energy infrastructure development projects, which are mega power plants, will help Pakistan overcome load shedding. There are so many benefits for Pakistan through infrastructure development Pakistan will be linked with Central Asian roots, through building SEZs FDI will come that will mobilize better markets, jobs creation, better salaries for employees, strong foreign reserves and creation of industrial parks.

He said this development will help Pakistan manufacture higher quality products and increase exports. Pakistan is a good market for China as well, Pakistan enterprisers are more skilled, over 200 million population with around 65 per cent young people. Moreover, China is to loss labour cost advantage and Pakistani companies manufactured items will be used by Chinese companies.

Dr Ishrat Hussain, Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, said that those who think CPEC will only benefit china are wrong. It will help increase Pakistan GDP at least by 2 percent, it will also help the under developed district of Balochistan to witness drastic development, he added.

Ms Naheed Memon – Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment and Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah also spoke on the occasion.

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