‘Pak China Railway Project to transform Pakistan into regional economic hub’

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LAHORE, June 22 (APP): Pak China Mega Railway Project will be transforming Pakistan into a regional hub of economic development.
Pak China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Shah Faisal Afridi expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation of China Railway 17th Bureau Group Company Limited (CRCC) involved in the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) railway projects.

The prominent members of the delegates were Mr. Xue Jiabin, Deputy General Manager at CRCC, Mr. Xie Fei, Development Manager at CRCC, Tian Wenchang, General Manager at Hebei Dongsangxing technology Co. Limited. The delegates informed the meeting that CRCC was opening offices in Pakistan from where they would be executing and monitoring the CPEC railway projects.

Afridi assured the delegation of full support and assistance by
the PCJCCI in implementing the said project. He said that Pakistan government had decided to carry out the connectivity projects between Pakistan and China on priority basis.

He explicated that Mega Rail projects, besides being beneficial to China and Pakistan, would also be useful for neighboring countries. For Pakistan, the proposed project would create thousands of jobs at Gawadar and also minimize the grievances of Baloch population, he added.

He told the delegates that Pakistan was very optimistic for railway mega projects due to the reason that it could be one of the main sources
of transforming Pakistan into a regional hub of economic development.

He said that after well established communication links large number of foreign investors would be attracted and Pakistan would get an easy
access to Chinese market. It would not only boost up Pak economy by increasing the Pak China bilateral annual trade but also bring transit
fee to Islamabad, said Afridi.

Afridi added that the projects like TAPI and Iran Pakistan India (IPI) gas pipelines could also be materialized on the successful completion and operationalization of Pak China Rail Link. Pakistan estimated the corridor project would create some 700,000 direct jobs between 2015 2030 and add up to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s growth rate, he said, asserting that on the other hand, China would get even more from the rail project due to the reason that it would provide the shortest route to round a year open sea.

President PCJCCI acknowledged that China was the world’s second
largest oil consumer and the largest oil importer therefore, transportation of oil from gulf states to China was really an important issue for China, because China’s Oil consumption was expected to grow by 5.8 percent annually; and in order to meet future demand, China had signed a number of long term contracts to develop Iranian oil fields and build a pipeline, refinery, and port in Sudan for oil export.

Mr. Xue, Deputy General Manager at CRCC expressed interest for collaboration with Pakistan Railway authorities and Private companies for further coordination in the implementation and quick completion of the railway mega projects.

For collaboration with Pakistan in the CPEC Railway projects, the PCJCCI arranged meeting of CRCC with Pakistani company, Seronic Engineering, construction, procurement and management group. Both the parties expressed interest to collaborate for the execution of the CPEC Rail links in the minimum possible time.