LAHORE: Pakistan and China celebrated the 10th anniversary of their flagship economic project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), on Friday, with speakers at a conference highlighting its achievements and future prospects.
The conference, organised by the Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), was attended by government officials, military officers, diplomats, academics and business leaders from both countries.
Moazzam Ali Ghurki, president of PCJCCI, said the CPEC had influenced various economic factors such as leadership quality, infrastructure development, revenue generation, job creation and technology transfer.
He said the main agenda of the conference was to discuss the achievements of CPEC and to explore new avenues of cooperation under the project. Former Corps Commander Quetta Lt. General Nasser Khan Janjua said Pakistan needed to provide infrastructural support to investors as Gwadar, the port city at the heart of CPEC, had the potential to change the fate of the country.
He said CPEC was not only a road to economic prosperity for Pakistan, but also a strategic partnership with China that would enhance regional stability and security. Dr. Saad, chairman of the Governor’s Inspection Team, said CPEC projects were expected to add 2.5 percent to Pakistan’s GDP and create 2.3 million jobs.
He said CPEC was also a catalyst for social development and poverty alleviation in Pakistan. Fazal ur Rehman, special secretary of the Home Department of Punjab province, said Punjab had established a dedicated unit called SPU to ensure the security of all Chinese projects and personnel in the province.
He said Punjab was committed to providing a peaceful and secure environment for CPEC activities. Du Yue, director of the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Lahore, said the bilateral relationship between China and Pakistan was characterized by mutual trust, respect and goodwill.
He said PCJCCI had set a remarkable example of this goodwill by organizing the conference. He said CPEC was not only a project of economic cooperation, but also a manifestation of the shared vision and destiny of China and Pakistan.
Lu Jianxue, president of the Lahore Overseas Chinese Association, said CPEC-related economic projects would enhance Pakistan’s trade, growth rate, employment and income levels. He said CPEC would ultimately bring prosperity to Pakistan and its people and would also help
Pakistan in alleviating poverty. The conference concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of CPEC and China’s National Day.