US$ 25.4b investment under CPEC helped Pakistan mitigate its energy, communication issues: Ms Pang

ISLAMABAD: Chinese senior diplomat on Thursday said that the landmark project of China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved fruitful results, bringing in US$ 25.4 billion in investment and helped Pakistan to mitigate its energy and communication issues by adding 6040 megawatts of electricity and 886 kilometers of core national transmission network and 510 kilometers of highways.

Addressing as chief guest at a seminar titled “CPEC’s Defining Moment: Prospect and Challenges” organized by the Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR) here, Ms Pang Chunxue, Deputy Head of Mission of the Chinese Embassy said China and Pakistan will jointly advance CPEC with greater efficiency making it an exemplar of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR) Executive Director Ms Sabah Aslam was also present.

Pang Chunxue said the two sides would make full use of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC to ensure the speedy completion of projects under the corridor.

Under the promotion of CPEC, she said Pakistan’s energy shortage had been greatly addressed, transport infrastructure has been improved, and local people have gained a large number of employment opportunities.

She said that China would always put Pakistan as its priority for cooperation and work in joint hands to address various risks and challenges at the regional and international levels, deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, and build a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

In his opening remarks Moderator of the session, Professor Dr. Azhar Mahmood, said that CPEC is an opportunity that was harnessed as a result of Pakistan’s geo-strategic location.

Due to the same reason, it has vital importance in China’s One Belt One Road Initiative because it is the enriched and shortest route of east west connectivity providing connectivity to not only region but civilization.

Professor Dr Tahir Awan focused political aspects of CPEC saying that there are challenges and we must deal with them. He said Pakistan needs to take some ideas from its Chinese friends and that is what CPC is focused on “modernization”. Pakistan can also use and implement the idea in its own requirement, Pakistan needs modernization in order to carry on with the emerging world or else be obsolete, he added.

He said that there is a need to link industry and institute in order to resolve the challenges, as Pakistan needs to institutionalize the challenges to CPEC.

Joining from Sri Lanka, Dr George highlighted that every country is unique in its outlook and none should be looked at as a replication of the other rather unique relationship it has with the international community.

Dawood Butt said that the emerging world is talking about more politics than trade and in these times Pakistan should feel proud of CEPC rather being skeptical about it, we should introspect but not be skeptic about its productivity and benefit for Pakistan because China is leading in GDP and Pakistan is no 1 recipient of China Foreign Direct Investment.

We need to remove bottlenecks for seamless functioning of CPEC. There is institutional consensus that CPEC is necessary to Pakistan. geography is important but history is equally important and Pakistan need to learn from Chinese history which is full of resilience, he added.

Prof. Shahid Raza said CPEC will happen amid all the challenges it faces, it may take slightly longer but it will be accomplished. Javed Iqbal highlighted the technological aspects of CPEC saying that the foremost need of modern world is nowhere to be seen in CPEC project.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]

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