Pakistan, China moving towards second phase of CPEC: PM
| Shehbaz Sharif says joint venture of Chinese technology, Pakistani labour to be a win-win situation
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday said that the joint venture of Chinese industry and technology with Pakistan’s labour and investment would create a win-win situation for the two countries by boosting their production and exports to the world.
The prime minister, in an interview with the representatives of Chinese media, said both the countries were moving toward the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which comprised regional cooperation and industrialization through establishing the industrial zones.
He said Pakistan’s skilled and semi-skilled labour was comparatively cheaper and the joint venture of Chinese technology and Pakistan’s labour and investment would help the two countries make production at competitive rates and export their products to other countries.
He said the first phase of the CPEC featured road and energy projects to meet Pakistan’s power needs which transformed friendly relations into unique ones where people-to-people contacts had seen a new phase.
He said when the CPEC agreement was signed between President Xi Jinping and that time Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan was faced with crippling load shedding. However, two years after the launch of CPEC projects, the country had been able to overcome the situation. He said Pakistan and China enjoyed time-tested friendship which had attained more heights under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.
He said Chinese president’s vision and dynamism offered an opportunity to attain progress, peace and prosperity, not only to Pakistan but the world.
He said in form of CPEC, Pakistan had been the first beneficiary of the Belt and Road Initiative of President Xi. Coming to Gwadar Port, he said it was a gigantic project to benefit the entire region including Afghanistan, Iran and Gulf nations besides China and Pakistan.
To a question, the prime minister said the CPEC projects had faced some hiccups during last three to four years; however, the incumbent government was resolved to take it to “Pakistan Speed” to fill the gap.
Asked to comment about the role of the Community Party of China, Shehbaz Sharif said since its inception, the party had made a remarkable journey despite numerous difficulties and challenges.
He also lauded the CPC leadership for steering millions of the Chinese people out of poverty by creating jobs and other opportunities.
He also spoke high of President Xi Jinping’s leadership calling him “one of the most dynamic and visionary leader” China had ever produced. To another question, he said the enemies could not digest the close China-Pakistan ties but reiterated his government’s resolve to ensure the security of the Chinese nationals in Pakistan.
“The security of Chinese friends in Pakistan is as important as the security of Pakistanis. The Pakistani government will take all measures to ensure that the Pakistan-China friendship will not be damaged by the enemy,” he remarked.
Reiterating his condolence over the loss of three Chinese nationals in Karachi University in a suicide blast, the prime minister recalled his visit to the Chinese embassy and interaction with Premier Li Keqiang.
He said he had held multiple meetings and formulated plan with the coordination of provinces.
“We will fully try to prevent such attacks and will utilize all-out resources to thwart the enemies of the friendship of China and Pakistan,” he commented.
To a question, the prime minister appreciated the way China had handled the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping the safety of their national above all. He said China also supported Pakistan by donating vaccines and sending medical experts.