KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Tuesday emphasised that Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries may also benefit from this multi-billion project. They hoped that Pakistan would become the 25th world economy in the next 15 to 20 years owing to CPEC. The Gwadar Port is the gateway to CPEC and it would become a global distribution centre, they added.
The seminar titled the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - Rhythm of Progress’ was organised by the Sahafi Welfare Association, Karachi. Speaking at the seminar, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zubair F. Tufail said that China has become a world economic power and Pakistan would benefit from around $60 billion CPEC projects. The FPCCI president said the first special economic zone in Sindh was being set up in Dhabeji, which would be completed by 2019 and would create hundreds of thousands jobs. He said that the game-changer CPEC would also hugely benefit the people of Balochistan.
Zubair was of the view that Pakistanis should learn the Chinese language to grab opportunities. He hoped that shortage of electricity in the country would end by the end of 2018 due to CPEC. “Today, the fastest train runs only in China and it has also sold the same (China-made) train to the United States of America,” he added.
Director Marine Group Asim A. Siddiqui said that CPEC would definitely open up new markets for China whereas it rests with Pakistan, how much it benefits from this multi-billion project. He said that CPEC is a part of China’s global development projects for its economic gains and it (CPEC) is five percent accounted for the investment of China at the world level. CPEC is a sole project at the world level which China has undertaken as a single country, he added.
He said that thereabout $11 billion would be spent on roads and infrastructure in Pakistan through the CPEC investment and investment on the side of water and electricity is also visible. He further said that nine free zones under the CPEC would be set up in the country.
Security expert colonel (retd) Ali Raza Mir, speaking on the occasion, said that China’s military and economic assistance would help Pakistan. He said that India is opposing CPEC through a planned propaganda. Raza was of the view that neighbours be included in the CPEC.
Javaria Tareen, speaking on attaining sustainable peace and security, said that political and educational stability is a must. She said that she is very supportive of youth empowerment and proposed to roll out a youth policy to create employment opportunities. She said that exchange programmes should be chalked out to promote further understanding among youth, journalists and other segments of the society.
She said that China should come forward to guide us on food security as it has much expertise in this sector. Later, shields were distributed among the speakers