ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal here on Monday said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would turn ties between Pakistan and China into long-term strategic economic partnership.
Addressing an event for launching of Long-Term Plan (LTP) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 2017-230 along with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, he said, â€œlaunching of Long-Term Plan of CPEC will turn the China-Pakistan bilateral relations into long term strategic economic partnership.â€�
Iqbal said that the long term plan would expand the scope of cooperation in various new areas, including cooperation in social sectors along with economic fields.
He said that CPEC was a national plan approved by both the Chinese and Pakistan government. “It will effectively match relevant national plans of China as well as Pakistan Vision 2025,â€� he added.
â€œThis plan is effective until 2030, the short-term projects included will be considered by up to 2020; medium term project up to 2025 and long term projects up to 2030â€� he added.
The minister said that during Chinese President Xi Jinpingâ€™s visit to Pakistan in April 2015, the all weather strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries was enriched with new connotations.
He said, â€œthe two sides take CPEC as the core while prioritizing Gwadar, energy, transport, infrastructure and industrial cooperation which has opened a new chapter of development in the area.â€�
He said Chinese were doing what the Americans and the Europeans should have done after the end of the Afghan war that evicted the Soviets from Afghanistan. That war helped bring down the Berlin Wall, and made Europe safe. But we here in Pakistan are still paying the price for it.
The minister said that China had invested $46 billion when other countries were not interested to make any investment. â€œ Investment in difficult time by China had proven that China is time tested and true friend of Pakistanâ€� he added.
He said through CPEC the dream of producing cheap energy from Thar coal deposits in Sindh was being materialized.
Iqbal said rail and road network was being laid across the country to connect Gwadar with China and other parts of the country which would boost regional connectivity and generate economic activities.
The minister said Pakistan and China are enjoying best exemplary relations. He said the two countries had relations for the last 66 years but these ties unluckily had not been transformed in robust economic ties.
He said everyone in Pakistan are admired of the development achieved by China but unfortunately Pakistan did not learnt from its experience. We have to learn from China that how to move to road to development, progress and prosperity for poverty alleviation.
The minister said the CPEC had transformed Pakistan completely, making it an attractive destination for foreign direct investment. The country portrayed as terrorist hub, has now turned into a safe haven for billions of dollars investment, he said.
Iqbal said international media had been declaring Pakistan a security risk but now â€œPakistan is a safe place for foreign investmentâ€�.
He said Chinaâ€™s Foreign Director Investment was 13 percent Read MOre