CPEC has become a biggest global brand of Pakistan within 5 years: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD (Sarzameen News)- China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) indeed is one of the biggest success stories that we have had in our whole history and it has become a biggest global brand of Pakistan, stated by Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister of Interior and Planning, Development & Reforms. CPEC has grabbed the attention of the world leaders and every big economy of the world searching their shared future in CPEC.

Federal Minister said this while speaking at the inaugural session of special seminar titled Five Years of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – A Story of Success and Opportunities”, organized by Sustainable development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Planning Commission of Pakistan and Embassy of the People’s Republic of China at local hotel on Wednesday.

Ahsan Iqbal said innovation, technology and competitiveness are now the new pillars of the economy to achieve growth and prosperity. He said 21 century is of economic ideology and we have to learn as nation from our past mistakes. Unfortunately, the new low in our politics, in form of recent political uncertainty in Baluchistan and Southern Punjab, has pushed Pakistan’s development and prosperity on the back burner, he lamented.  Only continuity of policies, political stability, peace and unity among our ranks can promise successful, brighter and prosperous future of Pakistan, he added.

The spirit of the CPEC is shared destiny and shared prosperity. Unless we preserve continuity, stability and peace we may not be able to gain the dividends of the CPEC”, said Ahsan. He said the destiny is in our hands, either we want see rising Pakistan or follow the path of destruction. We have had dropped many opportunities in the past, and now we have the last chance in the form of CPEC to rise, he added.

Speaking earlier, Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan said five years of construction, development and achievements is though very short time for the development of relationship between the two economies, but we are moving toward long lasting relationship. CPEC symbolizes the strong cooperation and a new demonstration of relationship between Pakistan and China, he added.

In our perspective CPEC is contributing to the new heights of state to state relationship of mutual respect, said Yao Jing. CPEC is 100 percent success and we wanted to increase the production capabilities, building infrastructure and strengthening the innovation and technical skill of Pakistan. By implementing CPEC projects, China see the enhancement of cooperation and looking further opportunities in Pakistan, he added.

Dr. Abid Qayyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI on this occasion shared his thoughts that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is about creating a shared future in the fractured world and CPEC is one of its great successes. He elaborated that the success of CPEC as a transformational investment is critical for both China and Pakistan to demonstrate their ability to steer this region towards a shared prosperity.

Dr Suleri said political volatility, capacity, coordination, institutional trust, knowledge gaps, financing and flexibility in our policies are major challenges that may hinder the progress of CPEC. He said we are living in the era of economic diplomacy; where we should collaborate rather compete.

LiJihan Zaho, Deputy Head of Mission, China, said while countering the negative propaganda around CPEC projects said that this claims is ridiculous and joke of the century that CPEC is another East India Company. He urged the international investors to invest in Pakistan’s emerging economy.  Hassan Daud Project Director CPEC, Planning, Development & Reforms said CPEC is not only bringing the hope but real change and we should embrace this change.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed Joint Executive Director SDPI stressed upon structural reforms at the domestic level to achieve the dividends of CPEC and tap the real potential. Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Director Research Uptake and Business Development, SDPI said CPEC is about trade liberalization and financial integration in Asia and beyond. Prof. Tang Mengshen, Peking University, China stated that national harmony and unity is critical for CPEC success.

Dr. Safdar A. Sohail, Director General, National Institute of Management said media needs to play its role positively and with great responsibility around CPEC projects.

Gen retd Gen Masroor, president IPRI, Dr Shahid Rashid Executive Director CECPEC, Amir Hashmi, President GTTN and Yasir Rehan, Senior Anchor PTV also deliberated at the seminar.

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