Every province to take full benefit of CPEC: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that CPEC has a portfolio of projects in different provinces in Pakistan, depending upon their requirements and their areas of competency and every province will develop its own cluster of industries.

“We are also working to provide clean drinking water to people of Gwadar and also a power generation station to generate electricity for the area,” Ahsan Iqbal said this in an interview to CEN here on Monday.

He said that CPEC connects Pakistan with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. And through BRI and CPEC, Pakistan can be linked with the global supply chains more easily, he added.

CPEC is focusing on the development of Gwadar, where it also provides – besides developing the port infrastructure – facilities for medical care, education, technical education and livelihood of the locals.

At the moment, many jobs are being relocated from China to countries where cheaper labour is available. And Pakistan with the CPEC connectivity has a very good opportunity to absorb most of this relocation.

“We hope that when the special economic zones in each province are ready, they will attract considerable investment in the relocation of Chinese industry that will bring more job opportunities in the region and also help Pakistan move up on the industrialization part,” Ahsan Iqbal added.

In the second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II), China has bought down tariffs to zero for Pakistan on 313 high-priority tariff lines. The new FTA, the minister noted, offered more opportunities for promoting trade between both countries.

“As I see it in coming years, there will be greater cooperation between Pakistani and Chinese enterprises,” said the minister. And this offers great promise in light of the long term plan of CPEC that envisages cooperation in all dimensions of economy, agriculture, industry, technology, service, education, health and so on.

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