ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor was Pakistan’s strategic economic initiative that has attracted the world in general and regional countries in particular.
“CPEC has changed the negative security narrative into an exceedingly positive economic narrative for Pakistan,” he said while chairing a meeting to review progress on CPEC at PM House. He said the successful implementation of the projects under the umbrella of CPEC was a manifestation of the strong and time-tested friendship between China and Pakistan, adding that its success has been substantiated by massive foreign investment in Pakistan.
He said there was a compelling reason for international investors to investment in Pakistan because of the success story of CPEC initiatives. The meeting reviewed at length the benchmarks set for numerous energy, transport infrastructure and industrial projects. They also discussed the deliverables with particular focus on development of Gwadar Port along with socioeconomic uplift projects in the area.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s economy was in shambles in 2013 when the present government came into power. He said it was China that supported and helped Pakistan in the economic revival at such crucial juncture for which the government and people of Pakistan were indebted to the Chinese leadership and people of China.
“The visionary Chinese leadership supported us in translating the idea of CPEC into reality,” the prime minister remarked. Recalling his first official landmark visit to China in July 2013, the prime minister said that the visit marked a new phase in the development of the bilateral relationship by putting economic cooperation and connectivity squarely at the centre of the bilateral agenda.
The meeting was briefed that energy projects under the CPEC including coal, hydel, wind, solar as well as transmission lines were on track. The participants of the meeting were briefed on the status of each and every energy project under CPEC in terms of timelines, transparency and cost effectiveness.
He said besides the infrastructure projects, including road, rail and aviation, data connectivity was also being executed simultaneously on fast track basis.
The meeting was informed that early harvest projects under the CPEC would be completed by 2017-18.
The meeting also deliberated at the multiple passages of CPEC across the length and breadth of the country. The prime minister reiterated that no region or territory must be left behind in reaping the benefits of CPEC.
The meeting took significant overview of the Gwadar projects including Gwadar East Bay Expressway; New Gwadar International Airport; Necessary facilities of fresh water treatment, supply and distribution; Technical and Vocational Institute; Pak-China Friendship Hospital; Development of Free Zone and Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan.
It was emphasised that local population must be given priority while giving incentives for industries. The participants of the meeting were apprised of the recent developments and progress to boost industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan