Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor project carries enormous economic potential not only for Pakistan but for different regions including the gulf.
He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of three-day conference on ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Region Integration in Islamabad today.
The Adviser said that apart from connectivity, the project will help Pakistan overcome energy shortages. He said many of the multidimensional power projects under the CPEC are under implementation phase which will add about 17000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid. About six to seven thousand megawatts will come in the system in the next two years’ time. Overcoming the energy shortages will also help enhance our GDP growth which is expected to move to five percent this year.
Sartaj Aziz also clarified that China is investing thirty six billion dollars in these power plants and providing soft loans for infrastructure development. Given the soft terms, these loans will not increase debt liability.
The Adviser however emphasized the need for diversifying the country’s exports. He said our private sector and entrepreneurs should be more forthcoming to bring value addition in the industrial parks to be established in each province under the mega project. He said we also have to reorient our training programs in order to meet the work force demand in the industrial parks.
He was confident that the CPEC has the element to make Pakistan self-reliant in different spheres.
Highlighting the challenges, the Adviser said some detractors are not happy over the multi billion dollars project but steps have been taken to ensure security of the Chinese personnel engaged in execution of different projects under the umbrella of CPEC.