CPEC Phase 2 Transforms Pakistan’s Role in Regional Trade

Tue May 14 2024
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BEIJING, China: Federal Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Prof Ahsan Iqbal, expressed optimism about the prospects of regional cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Phase 2.

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN), he emphasized Pakistan’s potential to become a hub of trade, commerce, and business in the region, connecting nearly three billion people.

Highlighting the transformative impact of CPEC on Pakistan, Prof Ahsan Iqbal cited the creation of over 200,000 jobs and improved logistics efficiency across the country. He underscored the importance of the upcoming phase in spurring economic growth through infrastructure projects, livelihood initiatives, and advancements in digital technology domains like artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

The minister stressed the shift towards green energy, emphasizing the government’s commitment to renewable energy projects and the transition from imported fuel to sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectric power.

Addressing concerns about the safety of Chinese nationals involved in CPEC projects, Prof Ahsan Iqbal assured enhanced security measures. He highlighted the dedicated security forces, including a 12,000-strong Pakistan army contingent, deployed to protect Chinese personnel. He condemned attempts by external adversaries to disrupt CPEC progress and affirmed Pakistan’s resolve to ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

Regarding the upcoming phase of CPEC, the minister expressed optimism about reinforcing the enduring friendship between China and Pakistan. He anticipated fruitful outcomes from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China, aiming to materialize the goals set for Phase 2 of CPEC and further strengthen bilateral relations.

Ahsan Iqbal’s remarks underscore Pakistan’s commitment to leveraging CPEC for sustainable development, regional cooperation, and fostering enduring ties with China.

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