Investors eyeing Pakistan as lucrative investment destination: Ahsan

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APP92-25 ISLAMABAD: April 25 - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal addressing the participants of 106th National Management Course at Planning Commission. APP

ISLAMABAD, Apr 25 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said that world’s key investors were eying Pakistan as a potential investment market as Pakistan had achieved an economic growth rate of 5 percent and political stability.
He expressed these views while addressing the participants of 106th National Management Course who visited Planning Commission as part of their Inland Study Tour.
Ahsan Iqbal said that initiation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a watershed moment in the history of Pakistan that had elevated country’s status as potential regional economic power.
He told the participants that Pakistan needed to benefit from opportunities being offered by CPEC and transform its economy to a modernization of industry.
He further said that absence of proper leadership and power politics had hindered Pakistan’s progress and therefore we must learn from our past mistakes.
Minister briefed the participants that global political landscape was changing sharply and inward political approach was being followed by west in US, UK and Europe.
In contrast, China is promoting regional and global connectivity across the Asia Pacific region as part of its One Belt One Road initiative.
In the same vein, Pakistan’s Vision 2025 enables Pakistan to leverage its geo-strategic location and explore the economic options offered therein.
Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC was a fusion of Pakistan’s vision 2025 and One Built One Road initiative.
Stressing the importance of Pakistan’s geographical location, he said that CPEC would physically and economically integrate Pakistan with China, Central Asian Republics and Eurasian region under the wider framework of One Belt One Road (OBOR) and Pakistan vision 2025.
He noted that CPEC and One Built One Road would collectively transform and improve the lives of three billion people which rightly set the context of this mega regional initiative as “Game Changer” in the region.
He said that CPEC had changed world narrative about Pakistan.
The Minister said “Pakistan which was ranked as most dangerous country of the world is now termed as emerging economy”. Pakistan is labeled as a safe haven for billion dollar Chinese investment, he added.
Explaining the breakdown of Chinese investment under CPEC, he stated that the US$35 billion investment under Energy Portfolio was being done in Independent Power Producer’s (IPP) Mode which was being regulated by NEPRA.
He further said that CPEC energy projects would generate 15000 megawatts of electricity which would help overcome the prevailing energy crisis.
CPEC energy portfolio included coal, hydel and renewable energy projects, he said, adding the present government for the first time opted for utilization of untapped black gold to generate electricity on much cheaper rates which would support to rise in export.
He dispelled the impression that coal power plants would create environmental hazards, adding that Pakistan was using super critical modern technology which reduced hazardous emissions.
Ahsan Iqbal urged the participating civil service officers to put in their best efforts in serving the country.
He emphasized that officers should use their best abilities in policy formulation and implementation in their respective departments.
On this occasion, Additional Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Zafar Hassan told the participants that CPEC Long term plan set the scope for development of agriculture and other sectors under CPEC framework.
He further said that Board of Investment was preparing a comprehensive package for industries which would be furnished shortly.
The package would support to implement the plan of establishing special economic zones” he said, adding that all the provincial governments were fully onboard to make this sector a success story.
Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud Butt gave a detailed briefing on CPEC to the participants.
He apprised them that work in energy and infrastructure projects were being undertaken at a faster pace.
He further said that CPEC Long Term Plan had been prepared after an extensive consultative process with all stake holders and it would be approved shortly.