ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would create huge opportunities for the people of the two countries and would transform the region into a hub of peace and prosperity.
‘We want to build a peaceful and prosperous society to improve quality of lives of billions living in the region and to connect them with global market,” he said while addressing a launching ceremony of CPEC quarterly magazine and website by Centre for Excellence, CPEC here.
Ahsan Iqbal said CPEC, Centre for Excellence was taking knowledge based steps and it would become a source of propagating research.
“It will integrate and coordinate the institutions engaged in implementing CPEC by ensuring excellent research, utilizing modern techniques to help us in policy making and achieving our goals of sustainable growth and development”, Ahsan Iqbal said.
He said the center was aimed at research in six key areas of CPEC including socio-economic impact of the project, the trade and industry cooperation, regional connectivity, financial integration, urban development and job opportunities created by the project.
He said some countries were feeling insecure due to China’s unprecedented economic development, however Pakistan was considering it a great opportunity.
“CPEC is a game changer, which turned Pakistan’s profile from a most dangerous country to a safe haven for billion dollars of Chinese investment”, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal said 2018 would be the year of completion of many projects under the CPEC, enabling us to overcome energy shortage by generating electricity from multifarious sources.
He hoped that end of power shortage, a main bottleneck to economic growth, would lead to boom in industrial sector. “The industry in Pakistan, which suffered badly due to acute power shortage, has witnessed a major change by receiving uninterrupted power supply”, the minister added.
He said under CPEC, biggest and historic development in transport infrastructure sector was being undertaken which would open new economic hubs in less developed and remote part of the country.
“We should work closely with Chinese to learn innovative techniques. Industry cooperation would double the capacity of Pakistani enterprises”.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing said CPEC Centre of Excellence was going to be an interface that would engage with other research institutions and think tanks with an aim to provide technical input for identifying more potential areas for Sino-Pak multi- sectoral cooperation.
He said supporting Pakistan’s economic sector was an important manifestation of the CPEC, adding CPEC was aimed to modernize Pakistan with energy-infrastructure, state of the art Gwadar port and Industrialization