7th long-term plan of CPEC to launch on December 18th

11,000 MW of power projects were planned under CPEC, out of which six were already completed

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Image Credits: APP

KARACHI: Planning and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said, seventh-long term plan of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be launched on December 18th.

Iqbal told industrialists and private sector to take advantage of technology transfer from China, which is moving itself to other countries because of high-labour cost, reported a English daily.

Iqbal while speaking at a ‘CPEC Business Opportunities Conference’ said Pakistan should form joint-ventures with Chinese entities relocating their facilities to other nations. He added the country had formulated plans to achieve infrastructure development for economy enhancement.

Planning Minister stated next phase of industrialization process will be completed from 2020-2025. He said CPEC has brought Pakistan into modern economy mode and has been a true friend during tough time and helped to bolster it thorough this initiative.

CPEC was initiated in 2013, when Pakistan was undergoing 18-20 hours of loadshedding, Iqbal remarked. Going on, Planning Minister highlighted security situation had been poor, benchmark index was in shambles and world community had predicted a shoddy outlook for Pakistan’s economy.

He said Pakistan is expected to achieve 6 percent growth this financial year, which is the highest in the last few years. Asking Pakistan to learn from China’s economic achievements, Iqbal said China’s per capita income had touched $8,000 against its own of $1,600.

Planning Minister added growth could only be achieved by political stability and policy consolidation. Power shortages in many areas had reached zero or two to four-hour power outages continued in some areas, he said.

Over 10,000 megawatts of electricity have been added to national grid since PML-N took power said Iqbal, which was a crowning achievement of the government, he concluded.

Lijian Zhao, Deputy Chief of Mission, China Embassy said China was the only country globally that had achieved double digit growth since launching its economic reforms launched four years ago. Lijian added CPEC is a national strategy of road building and concentrates on infrastructure and energy development.

He shared over 11,000 MW of power projects were planned under CPEC, out of which six were already completed, which would bring power outages to an end in Pakistan. Lijian said Lahore-Karachi motorway will see completion by 2019.

Ex-State Bank of Pakistan Ishrat Husain rubbished all talks that CPEC would impact Pakistan negatively and said those people were wrong, not only would China gain but Pakistan would get major benefits from it, he said.

Husain shared CPEC would help Pakistan increase its exports via availability of energy and Gwadar to Kashgar would bring economic vitality to such backward areas and integrate them into the national market.

Former SBP governor commented Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would create jobs and give various opportunities.