Seventh long-term plan of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be launched on December 18, envisaging industrialisation between 2020 and 2025, planning minister said on Wednesday.
Ahsan Iqbal, minister for planning, development and reforms advised private sector and industrialists to tap technology transfer, which China is relocating to other countries due to high labour cost.
“We should work for joint ventures with Chinese companies, which are relocating their facilities to other countries,” Iqbal said, addressing a ‘CPEC Business Opportunities Conference’. Planning minister said Pakistan planned to achieve infrastructure development for vibrant economy and in the next phase from 2020-2025 it planned to complete industrialisation process.
“CPEC has opened an era of modern economy for Pakistan,” he said. “China has proved its true friendship at difficult times and repaired Pakistan economy through this initiative.” The minister said CPEC started in 2013 when Pakistan was facing 18 to 20 hours of load shedding.
“Security situation was dismal, benchmark index crashed and world community was predicting a gloomy state of economy for Pakistan,” he added. “Pakistan’s economy achieved higher growth trajectory since the launch of CPEC. This year Pakistan is likely to touch 6 percent GDP growth, which is the highest in the past several years.”
Iqbal said Pakistan should learn the economic achievements of China where per capita income has shot up to $8,000 as compared to Pakistan’s $1,600. “This growth can be achieved through political stability and continuation of policy.”
He said power shortages have been reduced in many areas to zero-hour and in some area to 2 to 4 hours. Total of 10,000 megawatts of electricity have been added in the last four years which is a great achievement of the current government.
Planning minister said CPEC has four major components: Gwadar as international port city; energy; infrastructure development and industrialisation. Zhao Li Jian, deputy chief of mission, China’s embassy China is the only country in the world to achieve double digit growth since economic reforms launched 40 years ago.
Jian said CPEC is national strategy of road building. It focuses on energy and infrastructure development. A total of 11,000 megawatts of power projects have been planned under CPEC and of those six projects have been completed, which will eliminate load shedding in Pakistan.
He praised government of Pakistan in power plant development, which was much better than China did. “In less than five years Pakistan is approaching to zero load shedding,” he said. Chinese official said Lahore-Karachi motorway will be completed by 2019 and with the completion of central-western routes all Pakistani markets will be integrated.
He said feasibility reports of nine special economic zones have been completed. “These economic zones will bring lots of jobs and better quality products for local markets and for exports,” he added.
Ishrat Husain, former governor of State Bank of Pakistan said some people argued CPEC would negatively affect Pakistan. “They are wrong. China will definitely gain but Pakistan will also gain in various ways,” he added.
Husain said CPEC will help Pakistan in boosting exports through availability of energy. Gwadar to Kashgar route will help backward areas of Pakistan become part of national market. Gwadar Port will expand Pakistan’s economy. Special economic zones will provide enormous opportunities besides creating jobs.
The SBP’s ex-governor advised the stakeholders to strengthen institutional framework to complete the projects for achieving desired results. “We need synchronisation of all federal, provincial and local governments for successful CPEC plans.”
Source: The NEWS