CPEC helping Pakistan modernize its economy: Ahsan Iqbal

BEIJING: Federal Minister for Interior, Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal Friday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was helping Pakistan modernize its economy and providing opportunities to learn from Chinese development experience.

In his meeting with Chairman National Development and Reforms (NDRC), He Lifeng here, Ahsan Iqbal said CPEC had transformed Pak-China relationship into a strong economic partnership.

CPEC was bringing great benefits to both the countries and providing a platform to integrate regional economies, which would bring prosperity for billions of people, he added.

Pakistan, he said, had achieved great success in defeating terrorism and security situation was improving fast due to government’s efforts.

A security force of over 15,000 personnel had been raised for CPEC projects, he said, adding, all the Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects were helping in building Pakistan and they were guests of Pakistani nation.

Ahsan Iqbal clarified that there was continuity in the policies of government regarding CPEC and expressed satisfaction over the smooth progress of various CPEC projects.

He informed the Chairman that the two sides reviewed the progress of various infrastructure projects in the recently held 5th Joint Working Group of Transport & Infrastructure.

The minister highlighted the significance of ML-I and expressed the hope that work on the project would start during ongoing year.

He also requested for early finalization of Gwadar related projects including five million gallon per day water desalination plant. While underlining the importance of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the minister hoped that work would move forward at a faster pace in the coming months.

The Chairman NDRC agreed with Ahsan Iqbal and conveyed his satisfaction at the good progress achieved by the two sides on various CPEC projects.

He urged the two sides to complete the formalities of ML-I at an early date so that work could start during the current year.

He Lifeng noted with satisfaction the holding of the 5th Joint Working Group on Transport and Infrastructure and expressed the hope that the Joint Working Groups on Gwadar and Energy would also be held soon.

The chairman NDRC highlighted the importance of 7th JCC which would provide a roadmap for the two sides towards the implementation of projects under CPEC by approving the Long Term Plan.