ISLAMABAD, Aug 29 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar terming China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a game changer for entire region and Pakistan here on Monday called upon all political parties and provinces for forging unity among their ranks and files for the success of CPEC and transform the country into a strong, vibrant and economically self reliant state.
The Finance Minister stated this while addressing the
participants of the concluding session of CPEC Summit and Expo organized by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms here at Pak-China Friendship Center Monday evening.
The Finance Minister while appreciating the organizers of
the event said that this CPEC Summit and Expo would go a long way in creating awareness among the people about the importance of the US $ 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor project and spur economic growth and bring a lot of opportunities for the business community and people of the country.
He added that CPEC would also strengthen the bilateral and economic relations between the two friendly countries.
Finance Minister said that CPEC would also help connectivity
in the region and bring shared prosperity to the people of pakistan and the entire region.
Highlighting, the economic turnaround achieved by the
government, he said that the prudent economic policies initiated by the PML-N government have not only stabilized the economy but also restored the confidence of the international community on the economy of the country.
“Pakistan of today (2016) is different from that of
2013,” he remarked.
Pakistan’s economic indicators have improved and the
foreign exchange reserves of the country were all time high to US $ 23 billion, he added.
He said that international organizations like Japan External Trade and Research Organization (JETRO) have termed Pakistan as the second choicest country for investment.
Ishaq Dar commended the role of Ministry of Planning,
Development and Reforms for organizing this summit and expo.
This summit, he said has provided an excellent
opportunity for exchange of ideas and enabling stakeholders
to exchange information with foreign guests.
“I am sure that this summit will contribute to a
better understanding of CPEC and improving coordination
between various stakeholders for effective implementation of various efforts,” he remarked.
He said that he was pleased to observe representation
from all provinces.
Pakistan’s progress, he said has been excellent during the
last three years. “We have highest level of forex reserves and Pakistan is going to be the second choicest place for
foreign direct investment soon.”
“Pakistan is not what it was in 2013, in 2016 Pakistan has
changed and the world is ready to do business with us,”
Ishaq Dar said this summit and expo would
familiarize the distinguished participants with CPEC, its
background, plans and progress.
He added that there was no doubt that CPEC was going to
benefit all the regions of Pakistan.
“Today we learnt from the leadership of all provinces and
regions how they envision CPEC’s contribution to
sub-regional socio-economic development,” he said.
“I firmly believe CPEC will set our country on the road
to economic development and growth and the fruits of this
development will be shared amongst all the regions of
Pakistan,” he remarked.
He added that for example, around US $35 bio worth of
energy projects are envisaged under CPEC.
The electricity generated from these projects would be included in the national grid for the benefit of the people of the entire country.
Likewise, he said the road infrastructure being set up
will benefit all parts of Pakistan and wished the participants best of luck and success in promotion of CPEC for inclusive
development of Pakistan encompassing all regions of the country.
Ishaq Dar expressed the hope that Pakistani and Chinese businessmen would avail this opportunity to lay the
foundation for more meaningful engagements for cooperation and investment.
“We must all get together for a stronger and more
stable Pakistan through inclusive growth and development”,
He added that US $ 35 billion energy projects and other project out of the CPEC would help in elimination of loadshedding during the tenure of PML-N government.
The Finance Minister also stressed the need for promotion of
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through public private
Partnership (PPP) for creating job opportunities for the people.
In this connection the government plans were in line with
the business community lines.
Speaking on the occasion Minister for Planning and
Development Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC would not only bring prosperity to people of Pakistan but also benefit the
people of entire region through connectivity.
He added that CPEC was enjoying full support of the all the provinces and Pak -China business would be taken to new heights.
The prime minister of the AJK, chief ministers of Sindh,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan on the occasion highlighted the steps taken by their respective governments for development of CPEC.
Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal,
Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq
Haider, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez
Khattak, Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman and Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah also spoke on the occasion.