ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior, Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will usher prosperity and progress not only in Pakistan but the entire region.
He was speaking at the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC to highlight the significance of CPEC, according to a message received on Friday.
The minister highlighted that major infrastructure projects related to the CPEC were nearing completion within the timelines. “Both China and Pakistan are keen to operationalize CPEC at the earliest so that it stimulates the economy and brings about a meaningful change in the lives of the people,” he said.
“There is scope for the extension of CPEC projects to other countries.” He also said Pakistan’s economy registered impressive growth of 5.3 percent last year, which was projected to rise to six percent in the current fiscal year. “This will increase further as the economic dividends of CPEC are realised,” he added.
Earlier, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, in his opening remarks, said CPEC was a visionary initiative of the governments of China and Pakistan which had the potential to bring economic benefits to both countries and the region for decades.
He said CPEC represents the transformation of a long-standing and time-tested strategic friendship between China and Pakistan from the political to the economic sphere. “The people of both countries are excited by the opportunities that CPEC presents,” the ambassador said.
Dr Ehtisham Ahmed, a renowned economist and former senior World Bank/IMF official, while moderating the event said CPEC was generating great interest around the world and implementation of this project was part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The success of CPEC would demonstrate that the Belt and Road Initiative could transform the economic future of the region, he added.
The event was widely attended by foreign policy experts and Pakistani-American community members.