Islamabad, August 29 (Online): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the most important economic initiative for South Asia in the 21st century that will benefit the entire region.

Addressing the inaugural session of CPEC Summit at ‘Pak-China Friendship Centre’ today, the prime minister said that by working together we can bring peace and stability in the region through economic development for our people.

“Our region has witnessed a lot of conflict and deprivation in the past. Time has come to turn a new leaf in the history of the region by bringing peace and prosperity, and addressing the challenges of poverty, unemployment and under-development”, he added.

Nawaz said that CPEC is a new concept and approach in development based on shared goals and aspirations.

He said CPEC is not merely a strategic agreement between the two countries but a culmination of decade’s long brotherhood, friendship and cooperation.

Nawaz said this is the latest in the history of cooperation in all areas of bilateral and global importance. He said Pakistan and China have been together through thick and thin. He referred to the remarks of the Chinese President that Islamabad stood by Beijing at a time when it was isolated on the world stage and said that Pakistan can never forget the friendly gestures of China in developing a cooperative relationship during difficult periods.

The Prime Minister said that with the initial investment of 46 billion dollars, CPEC will become a unique model of economic development as well as a pioneering method of international economic cooperation. He said that 46 billion dollars is the economic value but the overall contribution and impact of CPEC would be much deeper and far-reaching.

He said CPEC will not only create a strong overland link between Pakistan and China but also give us the opportunity to strengthen Pakistan's own inland transportation and logistics infrastructure. More than ten billion dollars will be spent on railway projects as well as rail infrastructure in Pakistan.

Similarly, CPEC will be addressing Pakistan's energy crisis as projects worth 35 billion dollars are envisaged in Pakistan in the energy sector.

He said the CPEC project will prove to be a game changer not only for Pakistan but the entire region.

Nawaz also said that Pakistan and China will jointly send a satellite in 2018.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan will generate 10,400MW of energy through early harvesting of projects, most of which are to be completed by 2018 and others by 2020.

He appreciated the services of Chinese Ambassador, Sun Weidong for further cementing bilateral relations between the two countries in diverse fields.