BEIJING: Project Director of the Investment Committee of the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan Abdul Sami has said that the Pakistani government believed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a gateway to Pakistan’s progress and prosperity, and it offered many opportunities for development.
“The Pakistani government is committed to making every effort to make it a true trade and economic corridor, ensuring market access, industrial transformation, socio-economic development, poverty alleviation and agricultural modernization, and developing Gwadar Port into an oil city and transshipment center.” He made these remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of the International Conference on the Construction and Development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, hosted by China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Economic Daily – China Economic Net reported on Thursday.
Sami said that the interest of Chinese investors and the ardent expectations of the Pakistani business community will ensure the smooth progress of the second phase of the China-Brazil Economic Corridor.
“The two sides will be in the automotive, marble, building materials, information technology, chemical, textile, and agricultural industries. Extensive cooperation with the fishery and other fields, and vigorously promote cooperation between SMEs in the two countries”, he added.
Terming China as an important support for the sustained and rapid development of Gwadar Port, he said that the Pakistani government recognizes the significance of Gwadar Port as an important pillar of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and believes that China’s commitment to play an important role in its development is an important support for its sustained high-speed development.
He said the determination of the port of Gwadar, the Gwadar Free Trade Zone, the East Bay Expressway, the new airport and health and education projects, and the master plan of the city have become important milestones in the development of the city.
“This has not only promoted local economic prosperity, but also created many employment opportunities for young people in Gwadar and Balochistan,” he added.
Sami also said that thanks to its unique geographical location, the Gwadar route has the potential to become the busiest route in Central Asia and the world.
He pointed out that the vigorous development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has also attracted other countries’ investment in Gwadar and added, Saudi Arabia’s investment in Gwadar’s $1 million refinery and chemical plant will reduce Pakistan’s crude oil import bill by $3 billion.
Stressing a need to accelerate the construction of special economic zones and expand exports to China, he said that the special economic zones will accelerate development through infrastructure investment or undertake China’s labor-intensive industries to form new industrial clusters.
Pakistan will further optimize its business environment, strive for more Chinese investment and expand exports of goods and services to China, he added.
Sami pointed out that Pakistan’s marine fishery has great export potential, but it needs to be upgraded and needs to introduce world-class fishing methods and fish processing technology.
The Pakistani side hopes to develop the shipbuilding industry, the construction of factories and the ice making industry needed for marine fishery preservation through joint ventures, he added.
While commenting on a plan to build a tourism development zone by China and Pakistan, he said that according to the long-term development plan of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China and Pakistan agreed to explore the construction of tourism development zone.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Director of the Pakistan Research Center of Peking University, Khalid Manzoor Butt, Dean of the Political Science Academy of the Lahore School of Government in Pakistan, and Director of the China Center for Excellence in Studies, and some Pakistani students studying in China.
During the two-day meeting, the guests conducted in-depth discussions on investment and employment growth, construction and poverty alleviation, special economic zones and industrial development, China-Pakistan education cooperation, and security and development issues along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.