Thursday August 11, 2022

CPEC open for all countries, says PM’s aide

By Our Correspondent
January 15, 2022

KARACHI: Khalid Mansoor, PM’s special adviser on CPEC Affairs, on Friday said the economic corridor was not centric to any single partner and apart from China; Pakistan would welcome investments from all other countries.

“CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor] is not China-centric. It is available for any kind of investment from EU, UK, USA, and other countries,” Mansoor said.

He was talking to capital market participants at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on CPEC affairs where he gave a presentation on the background, scope, and latest developments of the corridor, while highlighting its completed and in-process phases.

He provided information regarding nine special economic zones (SEZs) being developed under CPEC, adding that Allama Iqbal Industrial City near Faisalabad had started production while Dhabeji SEZ was also functional.

“Along with China, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, and other countries had invested at the Allama Iqbal Industrial City.”

He said Pakistan was also involved in infrastructure development and ‘not all the work was carried under CPEC’ highlighting that the road network was also developed under PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme).

Mansoor gave a briefing to the participants stating that CPEC was a project to attract investment, industry, and technology centers from all over the world. He said the foremost thing needed to be understood was that the CPEC roadmap was ‘not something going to be concluding soon’.

It started in 2015 and is projected to develop by 2030. It is an ongoing project meant to promote bilateral & regional connectivity, regional economic integration, investment, trade, and logistical cooperation, he added.

He further stated the first phase of the project until 2020 involved a period of market cultivation to remove the major bottlenecks to economic social development addressed to boost economic growth.

“In this phase, the goal was to address the power generation shortfall in Pakistan which has been overcome today.”

He informed that the second phase was the medium term, which would continue until 2025 and involves developing industrialisation and manufacturing in the country. “This is what Pakistan needs to turn around its economy.”

Mansoor was of the view that the long-term project which would continue from 2025 until 2030 was the ‘period of maturity’ wherein a mechanism would be developed for sustainable economic growth. He said Pakistan’s strategic importance had increased multifold envisaging that the CPEC was going to be flagship of the dream of connecting the world.

Manoor said Gwadar as a very attractive venue for investors from all over the world with the best master plan of Gwadar City, will replace Dubai in near future. He said water supply and electricity issues at Gwadar will be resolved soon.

About 200 MW electricity would be provided from two different transmission lines to be completed by the end of 2023. With the help of China, under social uplift fund for the locals, solar panels would be installed on more than 3,000 houses in the vicinity of Gwadar. Similarly, water supply system was being constructed to connect Gwadar with Mirani Dam.

The session was also attended by PSX chairperson Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, CEO & MD PSX Farrukh H. Khan, capital market participants and heads of research, investment banks & brokerage houses.