KARACHI: Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has provided a great opportunity for sustainable economic growth for the next 10 to 20 years which Pakistan badly needed.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the two-day CPEC Summit 2018 organised by the Dawn Media Group and the Ministry of Planning and Development with the participation of the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Bagh-i-Jinnah here on Tuesday, the governor said the CPEC would lay a network of infrastructure development with social and economic progress in the country sans the cost of economic relations with America or Europe.
He said the next government would have to take effective steps to ensure smooth management and strategically address all challenges like e-transaction and debt payment and to minimise the risk of going forward.
The governor said it was heartening that national cohesion was depicted by the representation of all provinces and different sectors at the CPEC Summit which had shed light not only on benefits of the corridor but also challenges it might pose and suggested solutions.
Chinese consul general says his country wants Pakistan to develop together with it
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Sherry Rehman termed the CPEC biggest opportunity coming in decades. She claimed that the groundwork for it had been provided by the last PPP government and then president Asif Ali Zardari by initiating the Gwadar port project because without Gwadar there was no CPEC.
She said that as the first ship docked at the Gwadar port in March 2018 the CPEC started creating impact in all provinces and it was probably among the few things about which whole Pakistan shared same sentiments despite internal differences and wanted the project to succeed for Pakistan’s prosperity.
Ms Rehman stressed the need for focusing on three areas — economy, environment and security — to bring quantum prosperity to Pakistan.
“The CPEC at this early stage has already created 60,000 jobs and we need to train more Pakistanis for millions of jobs to be created. This could become new engine for development and prosperity not for the two countries [Pakistan and China] but turning South Asia into the wealthiest region,” she added.
Pakistan-China Institute Chairman Mushahid Hussain Syed said the balance of economic and political power was shifting from the West to the East with the peaceful rise of China transitioning from regional power to global power and getting on central stage geopolitically which was perceived as a source of strength and stability for Southwest and Central Asia in particular and Asia as a whole.
Chinese Consul General Wang Yu said the CPEC was peaceful cooperation, co-existence and regional connectivity, adding that China’s policy after 40 years of opening up had deeply motivated economic and social progress making the country the second world largest economy and with second largest foreign reserves whose GDP growth was 6.8 per cent this year while trade surplus decreased by 20pc. He said China had combined its social system with market economy and showed the way for other countries to develop themselves, adding that China wanted Pakistan to develop together with it.
CPEC project director Hassan Daud said all recommendations and papers read out at the summit would be taken seriously by the government.
Dawn CEO Hameed Haroon, in his vote of thanks, recalled the history of China and paid tribute to its leadership — Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping — whose visionary leadership and strong ideology led China to the stature where it is today with sheer hard work.
Without hard work, he said, “we would not be able to transform Pakistan into a developed and prosperous country”.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2018