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CPEC investment boosted Pakistan’s economic growth: Senate body chief

ISLAMABAD: Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has welcomed Pakistan’s offer to Saudi Arabia to become the third partner in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework and said it would provide a new trade route between China and the Gulf countries.

Highlighting Pakistan’s economic growth after joining the CPEC, he said that the projects under the framework had boosted Pakistan’s economic growth by one or two percentage points every year, adding, the GDP growth rate remained 5.9 per cent, highest in the last nine years, because of investment from China.

“The corridor is not only meant for China and Pakistan but it is a framework of the development and connectivity for other countries of the region and beyond as well,” he told a state run wire service here.

He said that Saudi Arabia was a brotherly country and its participation in the CPEC would prompt other countries of the region to join this multi-billion dollar flagship project of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which would be a good sign for peace and prosperity.

Responding to a question about the smooth progress of the CPEC under the new government, he said the entire nation had a consensus over the framework and expressed the confidence that it would continue as per schedule.

He said the CPEC was a long-term plan and expressed the confidence that as it moved forward will bring about prosperity and peace in Pakistan as well as the region.

Senator Mushahid opined that the corridor would equally benefit the people across the country and said that power stations, major highways and other development projects were being completed in all parts of the country.

“The key infrastructure development, as well as the growth of industrial estates around the new routes, will help connect the country and spread growth more equitably, rising living standards and increase the opportunity of employment for millions of people,” he added.

Congratulating China on the completion of five years of the BRI announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said that since the initiative was launched in late 2013, China had signed 150 cooperation documents with 106 countries and 29 international organizations.

The CPEC, the Pakistan leg of China’s vast Belt and Road infrastructure initiative was a reality and the benefits of this flagship project were visible and it had ushered Pakistan in a new era of economic development.

“We have overcome the shortage of electricity while a number of infrastructure projects are being completed in different parts of the country,” he added.

“A number of power generation projects have been completed in Pakistan. As a result, electricity load-shedding has reduced drastically. Infrastructure, road and transport projects are also being completed. While work to complete different facilities at Gwadar deep sea port is progressing well. Around 70,000 locals have also got employment owing to the ongoing development projects under CPEC,” he added.

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