CPECP to uplift socially backward areas of Pakistan: Ahsan

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 12 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning,Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said that scope of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been enlarged by including social sector development along with energy,infrastructure and transport.
It will help to uplift socially the backward areas of the country particularly Gwadar, the gateway of China.
In his opening remarks at 5th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of CPEC in Karachi, Ahsan Iqbal said that development of CPEC would not only help in achieving China’s growth momentum but will also translate accelerating growth rate resulting in peace, harmony
and progress as a fruit of our generation long friendship.
The minister emphasized that long term plan for the corridor
should be developed in a comprehensive manner including utilization
of spatial planning, identifying the needs of improvement in various
forms and means of communication, focusing on industrial and
agricultural cooperation, which should be in the interest of both
countries.
Further, the establishment of industrial parks and creating
opportunities for improvement in employment and livelihood,
identifying tourism prospects, efficient and effective utilization
and conservation of resources including water, and identifying ways
and means of financial cooperation to ensure the implementation of
all these projects, he mentioned.
Minister Planning and Development stated, “Energy is a big
constraint for Pakistan’s development objective and has multifaceted
challenges.
“In the backdrop of our facilitation agreement, we had to
jointly manage the completion of the project as per energy planning
timelines”, he added.
Necessary implementation steps and technical formalities have
almost been completed and for those prioritized, which have matured
for completing financing arrangements. Minister hoped that financial
close of these projects should be achieved soon.
“We also look forward to hear about the review process of
energy projects and sign supplemental agreements to reflect the
results including new projects agreed by the working group”, Ahsan
Iqbal added.
About infrastructure projects, Minister noted that
implementation of infrastructure projects is the backbone for the
development of CPEC.
It is essential that commercial contracts for the two big
transport infrastructure early harvest projects, KKH Phase-II
Thakot-Havelian section and KLM Multan Sukhur section are concluded
at the earliest so that projects are completed as per the agreed
time lines.
On Gwadar, the minister said it is the gateway of CPEC and
need to work together for implementation of identified key
initiatives to make Gawadar one of the most strategic port cities of
the world and thereby creating immense opportunities and value for
both the countries.
He commended the cooperation of Chinese government for
considering the grant funding for development of Gwadar Port City
master plan.
“We would like that work on master plan should start as soon
as possible”, Ahsan stated.
Minister said that handing over of land for development of
free zone has taken place, which is a milestone in CPEC.
He appreciated the support and cooperation of the Chinese
government, investors and financial institutions for development of
CPEC and stated that we look forward to further enhance this
engagement through exchange programs of private sector.
Minister said that both Pakistan and China are committed to
pursue their agreed economic agenda.
“We firmly believe that building this corridor would change
dynamics the economic growth in the region and would bring
prosperity and harmony in both countries as well as in the entire
region.”