ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country has entered the industrialisation phase and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help boost the industry sector.
“Our strategic location and CPEC will pave the way for industrialisation,” he said while addressing a ceremony held to inaugurate Rashakai Economic Zone on Monday.
Prime Minister Khan said the government’s priority was to provide jobs to locals by promoting industrialisation under CPEC.
He also congratulated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan for the agreement which, he said, would prove to be a major milestone not only for the province but for the entire country.
Says jobs to be provided to locals at their doorsteps
He said out of four industrial zones to be set up under CPEC, Rashakai was prioritised to encourage growth of industries and spur job opportunities for people at their doorsteps.
A United Nations survey had indicated that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was leading efforts in reducing poverty, he said, adding that people often travelled abroad or to other parts of the country to earn their livelihoods, leaving their families behind.
“My government is interested in providing job opportunities to locals at their doorsteps,” he added.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, ministers, members of National Development and Reforms Commission, China, and CPEC Authority as well as other relevant officials were present at the ceremony.
Referring to the strategic position of Pakistan in context with a wider regional connectivity with Central Asian countries, the prime minister welcomed the commencement of intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha, and said Pakistan had played a vital role in the peace talks.
If there was peace, it would lead towards achieving wider regional connectivity up to Central Asia, he said, adding that the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan had recently visited Pakistan and showed his keenness in a railway line from Mazar Sharif to Peshawar.
Besides, ML-I would prove vital for regional connectivity and reduce travel time between various cities, he said, adding that it would also enhance cargo activities, ease business as well as cost.
Pakistan’s strategic location would prove beneficial for trade and business, especially in KP that had remained on the frontline in the war on terror and gave immense sacrifices, Prime Minister Khan said.
About CPEC, he said they were moving forward from communication linkage stage to industrialisation growth through agreements.
“Our next phase is industrialisation. During the 60s, the nationalisation drive had affected the country’s economy and exports. The Chinese industry wanted to relocate and Pakistan offers a very attractive environment with complete incentivisation,” he added.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020