Home International News Ahsan Iqbal holds media interaction in Beijing, highlighting Pakistan’s commitment with CPEC

Ahsan Iqbal holds media interaction in Beijing, highlighting Pakistan’s commitment with CPEC

6 min read

BEIJING, May 10 (INP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal held here media interaction, highlighting his government commitment with CPEC.

According to China Economic Net, he told newsmen that they are working with the Chinese counterparts to define parameters of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Phase II which highlights strengthening bilateral cooperation in three areas i.e. agriculture, industry and technology.

Additionally, increasing exports to China and expanding Sino-Pak educational and technical exchange were also underlined in his remarks.

“Pakistan and China have enjoyed a unique relationship in diplomatic history. It has never seen any autumn. There has always been spring in this relationship.

The garden of friendship between Pakistan and China in every season has blossomed with new colorful flowers of cooperation and understanding between the people of the two iron brother countries,” Prof. Ahsan Iqbal started the meeting with a beautiful analogy.

This is his first visit to China after the new Pakistani government took office, followed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ishaq Dar’s visit to China soon.

Called ‘Mr. CPEC’, Ahsan Iqbal’s one main work emphasis has long been the over 10-year-old CPEC. “In 2013 when we started this initiative, Pakistan was facing severe energy shortages up to 16 hours per day.

We were able to harness over $25 billion worth of projects which helped us establish new power projects up to 8,000 MW capacity, upgrade logistics, construct highways, etc.

We can take a lot of pride when we review CPEC’s past decade. CPEC has helped Pakistan transform its energy and infrastructure sectors, and created over 2 million jobs,” he stated.

“Pakistan has benefited from financing by China, and the whole disinformation that whether CPEC or BRI is any debt trap I think as nothing. As a matter of fact, CPEC has benefited Pakistan’s economy immensely,” Ahsan Iqbal responded the noises from western media on CPEC.

Looking into the second phase of CPEC, “our priority is to move towards business to business cooperation. China imports almost $2.7 trillion worth of goods from the world while Pakistan’s share is just $3 billion. I think we can easily expand Pakistan’s market share in China from $3 to $30 billion,” he said.

Seeing numerous electric cars running on the roads of Beijing, “China is the leader now in EVs. We are seeking to transform our transportation sector with the help of China because we also have set up goals to let EVs have a greater share in our transport to reduce pollution. During my visit, I’m meeting some Chinese companies which are interested to set up plants in Pakistan to manufacture EVs, and particularly our interest is about electric buses,” Ahsan Iqbal said.

Besides, “IT has great opportunity for Pakistani businesses to provide their services in China because our cost is very low. Pakistan has the third biggest pool of freelancers in the world. Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence is reshaping the whole spectrum of development.

Pakistan is also developing its plans how to adopt AI in its education sector, health sector and its economy. We are looking forward to more collaboration with China to benefit from China’s experience because China is the leader in this area,” Ahsan Iqbal outlined.

It’s learned that on Friday Ahsan Iqbal will have a meeting with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

“We will be able to work out a roadmap to implement CPEC Phase II with the same spirit and the same momentum which we were able to complete the first phase, which had a very big impact on Pakistan,” he said.

INP/javed

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