CPEC’s implementation plan going smoothly: Ahsan Iqbal

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BEIJING, June 29 (APP): Pakistan has been smoothly implementing the plan
to build an economic corridor with China, despite experiencing some challenges, Minister
for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said.
China has promised $57 billion in investment in projects along the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of the Belt and Road Initiative that
proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 which aiming to link China with the
Middle East and Europe.
“We are smoothly implementing and we are very satisfied with the speed
of the implementation,” Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview on the sidelines of the World
Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Dalian.
In addition to the investment pledges from China, Pakistan would invest
close to $10 billion, he said.
The economic corridor, to be completed in three phases by 2030, will
boost Pakistan’s energy security and infrastructure, helping it attract more foreign
investment, he said.
Ahsan Iqbal told the forum there were some challenges to be addressed,
including on coordination among different government ministries and among “internal
and external stakeholders.”
“There are a number of challenges which have to be addressed,” he said.
“There are actually many gaps that we have to correctly address. First
and foremost is the coordination gap,” he said.
Pakistan and China aim to build a network of rail, road and energy
infrastructure as part of the Belt and Road initiative.
Pakistan has been one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the
initiative, in part because many projects are for power plants to alleviate its energy
shortage.