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‘CPEC bringing investment in energy, infrastructure sectors’


7/1/2017

ISLAMABAD - Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is creating opportunities for sustained growth by breaking cycles of poverty and under-development.

Speaking at the 11th Annual Meeting of New Champions, also known as the Summer Davos, in China, the minister said that the Chinese vision for the One Belt One Road (OBOR) has correctly focused on connectivity in order to reach a higher plane of human development across the world.

According to a statement received here, the minister said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the flagship project of the OBOR, which has turned an idea into a $50 billion plus portfolio within a span of two years and would bring together the growth engines of South Asia, China and Central Asia, thereby leading to tangible economic benefits to three billion people of the region.

He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is bringing much-needed investment into energy and infrastructure sectors, which had become investment starved and bottlenecks for faster growth.

The investments are going to under-developed areas and connecting hinterlands with coastal areas. It is creating opportunities for sustained growth by breaking cycles of poverty and under development, he added.

In response to a question, the minister said that Pakistan's macroeconomic indicators had witnessed across-the-board improvement in recent years. Budget deficit has been cut from 9 percent of GDP to less than 4.5 percent, foreign reserves have doubled, GDP growth is at highest level in ten years, he pointed.

This fact has been noted by international financial institutions and is evidenced by increasing foreign investment in Pakistan, both from China and other countries, he added. Investors are finding it impossible to overlook Pakistan's 200 million population-market, with 60-80 million growing class of affluent consumers, and the government's business-friendly policies, he said.

The minister said that the country was facing some challenges in coordination, knowledge and human resource gaps, which the government has successfully overcome with the strong commitment of highest political leadership and support of all stakeholders of Pakistan's society.

The increasingly visible success of the CPEC reflects the shared commitment of Pakistan and China to the project's early and effective realisation. The fruits of CPEC are beginning to deliver instant results with reduction in power shortages and providing connectivity between remote places and developed areas, bringing economic opportunities for people, he added.

Separately, Ahsan also addressed a gathering titled "New Roads to Globalisation" alongside senior representatives of the governments of Russia, Singapore and Moldova, as well as leading figures from international financial institutions and the private sector.

Source: The Nation