GWADAR: Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can initiate new age of industrialisation in Pakistan as it provides immense opportunities to businesses.
Addressing a seminar on CPEC, the federal minister informed that CPEC will break two bottlenecks faced by Pakistan’s economy namely lack of infrastructure and energy shortage, which are essential prerequisites for development.
The federal minister further explained CPEC by breaking it down into four components, infrastructure Projects, energy projects, Gawadar Port, and industrial and economic zones.
He stated that the proposed industrial and economic zones under CPEC are the result of Pakistan’s comparative advantage in labour which can initiate new age of industrialisation in the country.
He said that 85 million jobs are up for grabs as several Chinese businesses that have lost competitive advantage are relocating due to rise in cost of operation in China, which provides an ideal opportunity for Pakistan to grab a major share of these available jobs and address unemployment.
He noted the energy mix under CPEC is diverse and will produce affordable energy, while neglected coal reserves, renewable energy, hydel and other sources of energy are also explored under CPEC.
Mr. Iqbal said that historical investments in infrastructure have connected Gwadar with the rest of the country for the first time. He squashed all noises suggesting that CPEC will lead to loss of domestic business or employment, and knowledge of critics who oppose the project.
He noted that CPEC is a fusion of China’s vision of “One Belt and One Road” and Pakistan’s Vision 2025, and will allow Pakistan to become a hub of socioeconomic activity which will benefit the entire region and beyond.
He apprised that inter and intra regional connectivity provided by CPEC makes it a fate changer for everyone because connectivity ensures greater trade, socioeconomic activity and general welfare.
He noted that CPEC has allowed Pakistan to transform Pak-China geo-strategic relations into geo-economic for the first time in history.
“CPEC is further allowing Pakistan to embrace the shift the world saw in 20th Century from geo-politics to geo-economics,” he remarked.
Ashsan Iqbal said that progress of Pakistan can compared from 2013 when Pakistan was termed as the most dangerous country by the global media which is now calling Pakistan as the next Asian Tiger.
He pointed out Pakistan was previously considered a security risk marred by terrorism, but the action of the government have cornered terrorists resulting in a safer and secure Pakistan.
He hoped that CPEC can be materalised as a tool of inclusive growth where the people of Pakistan can be the subjects of the development process.