CPEC instrumental for economic prosperity in the region: Masood Khan

MIRPUR: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan Monday said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was instrumental in the economic prosperity of the region.

The President made these remarks while addressing a one-day seminar on “CPEC and Azad Jammu Kashmir” organised by the University of Kotli.

The event was the part of a series of seminars to be held at public-sector universities of the state for highlighting the opportunities and challenges of the CPEC.

Sardar Masood Khan said that Kotli University had taken a positive initiative in arranging this seminar on CPEC and would act as a catalyst for further research.

The President said that CPEC was not a stand-alone project but is, in fact, a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He said that almost 65 countries, including Pakistan, were a part of BRI which aimed at global economic connectivity across the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Highlighting the prospects of CPEC, the President said that this project was not to be considered a substitute for Pakistan’s overall economic progress rather a huge channel helping evolve and develop our economy.

Pakistan, he said, was an emerging economy and on its way to becoming one of the leading economies in the next three decades. President Masood Khan said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir had been included as a key region for CPEC with multiple projects for highway linkages, energy generation, however developing an industrial estate would help revive local economy making it into an ideal location for business and tourism activity.

The AJK President said that with the formal inclusion of the state in the CPEC; 4 projects had exclusively been earmarked for this region which includes Karot (720 MW), Kohala (1124 MW) Hydro-power projects, Special Industrial Zone in Mirpur and the Mansehra-Mirpur Expressway.

The President said that CPEC would generate thousands of new jobs in specialised fields like logistics, supply chain management, hydraulics, artificial intelligence and other post-modern subjects. He urged the students to understand and adapt the upcoming challenges, especially in the ever-changing job market.

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