The Pak-China Economic Corridor is not a game changer but fate changer for Pakistan: Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD – Ahsan Iqbal on Friday 6,February,2015 said “The Pak-China Economic Corridor is not a game changer but fate changer for Pakistan and for the prosperity of three billion people of the region and economic staybility,” Ahsan said addressing a press conference here. “Pak-China Economic Corridor is imperative for regional trade integration and to enhance economic activities in Pakistan,” he remarked. Ahsan resolved that the mega project aims at uniting all federating units including the remote areas of Balochistan, Khyber Puktunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Region.
He added that transit trade between Pakistan and China would be started from Gwadar adding that backward areas of Balochistan would especially benefit from the economic corridor project. The minister said that energy and infrastructure was more important for economic development of any country, and “Our government was working on strategic road map and formulated the vision 2025 to enhance infrastructure and energy projects with the cooperation of friendly China.”
The economic corridor and connected energy projects with a total investment of $45 billion during the next five years was a glaring example of the close friendship between the Pakistan and China. He added that Pak-China Energy Corridor also included the project of generating 16000mw electricity to benefit the industrial zones and domestic consumers in Pakistan. Pak-China Economic Corridor would give Pakistan a pivot in the region boosting trade and commerce links with the regional economies, he said.
The 2,100-kilometer corridor would include special economic zones, a railways system and a model city, airport as well as a free port at Gwadar, he said. Pakistan government, he said that was planning to establish state-of-the-art industrial zone in Gwadar which would be a core feature of Pakistan-China trade corridor. The economic corridor considered the multiple routes for the connectivity of urban and remote rural papulation of Pakistan to provide equal development opportunities to the people. The corridor he said that was a landmark project, which would connect Pakistan’s deep sea Gwadar port with China’s Xinjiang region bordering Gilgit Baltistan, an area full of natural resources.
Both Pakistan and China have launched a number of mega projects under the umbrella of the economic corridor in several fields like energy, infrastructure and connectivity which would revitalise Pakistan’s economy. To provide greater connectivity to Gwadar Port, he said, “Various initiatives have been taken as Gwadar can act as a hub for trade between Pakistan, China, Central Asia, Gulf Region and Afghanistan,” he said. He said that Gwadar port has the potential to become the most convenient, economic and popular access route for Central Asian commerce and as an energy corridor.
He said that Pakistan has important Geo-economic and Geo-strategic position to connect the whole region and convert it as trade hub for the entire region. He regretted that again some quarters were propagating against the Pak-China Economic Corridor, when Chinese President was expected to visit Pakistan. He added that earlier Chinese president’s visit was canceled because of different rumors spread during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek sit-in here at D-chowk.
He said that the government has taken necessary steps to enhance economic and trade ties with all regional and other countries including United States, China and Afghanistan in order to maintain peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region.