ISLAMABAD - Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday highlighted milestone achievements made under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the last 10 years and the deepening relations between the two countries also known as “Iron Brothers” with each passing day.
Addressing a news conference here ahead of the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of China in connection with CPEC’s 10-year celebrations, he signified the CPEC agreements signed in 2015, which transformed Pakistan’s profile from a security state to an investment destination.
He lauded Chinese President Xi Jinping’s role in elevating Pakistan’s image globally as an attractive investment destination, fostering economic cooperation and development. The minister highlighted that in the span of three years, CPEC saw the successful completion of numerous projects worth around $25 billion.
These projects encompassed various sectors, including power generation, infrastructure development, education and more, he said adding the Thar coal project stood out as a monumental achievement, harnessing Pakistan’s vast coal reserves for power generation, making it a significant contributor to the country’s energy needs.
Ahsan Iqbal emphasized that CPEC provided opportunities for Pakistani workers and engineers to acquire training in modern technology and project management.
Additionally, he said, the collaboration between China and Pakistan in the education sector facilitated thousands of Pakistani students to pursue higher education in China.
The minister expressed gratitude to President Xi Jinping for China’s unwavering support and investment in Pakistan during challenging times.
He stressed that China’s investment of billions of dollars in CPEC projects illustrated its status as Pakistan’s most reliable friend and a key partner in economic development.
Talking about the current government’s approach to CPEC, the minister said the revival of CPEC initiatives under Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s leadership demonstrated Pakistan’s renewed commitment to economic growth and collaboration with China.
Ahsan Iqbal acknowledged the positive turnaround in Pakistan’s economy, indicating renewed global interest in the country.
He cited examples of significant improvements in Gwadar Port’s handling of cargo and the completion of pending projects that had been stalled for years, during the tenure of the previous government.
Regarding the upcoming visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of China, Ahsan Iqbal mentioned that the event aimed to commemorate the ten-year journey of CPEC.
He anticipated that the visit would lead to further progress in business-to-business links, industrialization, and cooperation in science and technology between China and Pakistan.
The minister also shed light on the ML-1 project, expressing optimism that its technical parameters had been agreed upon, paving the way for its implementation soon.
Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the importance of continuing the policies that had propelled Pakistan’s economic recovery and development under the CPEC framework.
He urged steadfastness in building upon the strong relationship between Pakistan and China, reaffirming that CPEC remained a symbol of bilateral friendship and successful economic cooperation.