ISLAMABAD: Long-term plan of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aimed at enabling the country to harness its true economic potential was launched in Islamabad on Monday.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the purpose of the Long-term Plan was to provide high quality of life to the citizens in an inclusive manner.
He said the plan will greatly speed up industrialisation and urbanization process in Pakistan.
The minister said Pakistan and China signed 46 billion dollar worth MoUs under CPEC and so far more than 27 billion dollars worth of investment had been energized.
He said this investment is either under implementation on ground or its financing has been secured.
“This is one of the great success stories of recent times that in such a short span of time huge investment has been mobilized between any two countries,” he said.
He said CPEC identified four areas including energy, Gwadar Port development, infrastructure and industrial cooperation.
The minister said in the first phase the government focused on connectivity especially construction of new highways along three accesses to western route, central route and eastern route of the CPEC.
” These are connecting remotest areas in Pakistan with main centres of development to create inclusive development model.,” he said.
He said Gwadar Port has been connected with Quetta through a 650 kilometer road reducing travel distance to merely eight hours.
Gwadar-Khuzdar-Rattodero was taken up as priority project while Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra highway would connect north-eastern remotest areas with main KKH. Gilgit-Chitral-Chak Darra highway will connect this region with main routes of CPEC, he said.
“Work has also been started on Panjgur-Nokundi road which will connect Western Balochistan with main Western route.”
Ahsan Iqbal thanked China for coming to the help of Pakistan by making huge investment under CPEC at a time when others were shy of investing in the country.
Under the plan, Pakistan and China will establish special economic zones in all provinces and regions. They will expand industrial capacity cooperation in diverse sectors including chemical, pharmaceutical, engineering, agro, iron and steel.The two countries will also increase exploration and development of resources.China and Pakistan will play their role to boost the development of local agriculture economy to help local people get rid of poverty.