Observed that ‘One Belt and One Road’ initiative has made rapid progress and achieved substantial results. BEIJING: Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid Thursday said that more Chinese companies are expected to take advantage of investment opportunities after the establishment of special economic zones in Pakistan in near future. A few months ago, Pakistan and China agreed to build the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), improve infrastructure and enhance connectivity, he told Baidu.com Chinese edition in an exclusive interview. He said the past few years have seen China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) become one of the largest and most fruitful and successful projects under the framework of One Belt and One Road and this project has directly created nearly 70,000 jobs in Pakistan.
Ambassador Khalid said with further deepening of bilateral economic cooperation, especially the construction of special economic zones in the near future, Pakistan and China will create more and more cooperation opportunities for mutual benefit and win-win results. Stressing that the impact of One Belt and One Road initiative on the world is impressive, he said the One Belt and One Road International Cooperation Summit Forum highlights the growing impact of the One Belt and One Road initiative on the world. Ambassador Khalid said the two sessions in 2019 come at a critical juncture in China’s history.
China’s economy is full of vitality, and China is moving toward prosperity and strength. Since President Xi Jinping put forward the “One Belt and One Road” initiative in the autumn of 2013, the “One Belt and One Road” initiative has made rapid progress and achieved substantial results, he observed. Earlier, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said the Cabinet Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has decided to establish CPEC Business Forum to tap true potential of this important corridor. Talking to media after the committee meeting, the minister said that the formation of the forum was being deliberated since long and now its establishment has formally been decided.
He said that members of the forum have already been finalized which would included representatives from business sectors, chambers, business councils and other sectors of economy. The minister said that the cabinet committee decided to enhance industrial cooperation and involve private sector. “The true potential of CPEC could not be materialized unless we promote industrial cooperation,” the minister said adding that the industrial cooperation would help enhance exports and reduce imports. He said that since CPEC was much related to government levels and there was a missing link to involve private sector and its involvement would help take full benefit of CPEC.
The minister said that although progress and pace of work on Gwadar project was not made up to the expectations for last 3 to 4 year, however revealed that Gwadar International Airport would be inaugurated by the end of this month. He said the project for generating 300 megawatt electricity for Gwadar would also be completed on priority. The minister said there was also less progress on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) during last four years, adding, the Rashakai agreement would be finalized by March 25 and would be signed between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and China soon. He said that the groundbreaking of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone would be made during the first half of next month (April). The Minister said that scope of CPEC has been extended to other sectors of economy and agriculture sector would be promoted under this project. He said the China would be providing US $1 billion grant for social sector development which would be spent on education, health and for provision of clean drinking water in backward areas of provinces. In addition, this grant would also help establishment of vocational training projects. The minister said areas which were neglected earlier in Western Corridor and Gwadar projects would be taken forward on priority. He clarified that no funds of CPEC were diverted to other projects, adding that all the ongoing projects of CPEC were fully funded. To a question, the minister said about 60 percent financing has been made on Hakla-Dere Ismail Khan which would be completed at any cost. To another question, he said that currently US $ 28 billion projects were underway under CPEC.—APP