ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday invited Japan to take advantage of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and encourage Japanese corporations to take part in projects of transport infrastructure and power generation on Independent Power Producers model.
“CPEC is not a bilateral project but it is an inclusive project where major economies from European Union, Middle East, America and Asia are also showing their interest to join in.”
He said this after holding meetings with Secretary General of Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Dr.Kanoktanaporn, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Akira Kondoh, Chairman, Japan-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship League (JPPFL), Sheishiro Eto and representatives of major Japanese business corporations
Ahsan Iqbal who is on a two-day visit to Tokyo to participate in the World Marketing Summit, apprised his interlocutors that the grand CPEC Project has already taken off and bears immense potential of connecting a three billion strong region of South Asia, China and Central Asia.
The Minister shunned apprehensions relating to security concerns about Pakistan and informed of sustainable success in Security Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
When asked by Japanese media about the situation prevalent at Line of Control (LoC), he reiterated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of “Peaceful Neighbourhood”. He stated that for development of people to take place peace in South Asia is a must.
In his meetings and media interaction, Ahsan Iqbal stated that economic indicators of Pakistan have improved considerably over the last three years.The foreign exchange reserves have more than doubled from US$10 billion to US$23 billion and inflation remained lowest in South Asia.
Ahsan Iqbal said that government was able to bring down budget deficit to 4.7% of GDP. He also added that Morgan Stanley declared Pakistan as one of the promising emerging markets globally.
He said, Karachi Stock Exchange has been rated as one of the top three stock exchanges of Asia. He also emphasized Pakistan’s demographic dividend, saying that over two-thirds of its 200 million population is under 25 years of age.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2016