Pakistan to establish trade bond between South, Central Asia, China: Ahsan Iqbal

BEIJING: Interior, Planning, Development, and Reforms Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, has said that the completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would revolutionise trade ties between the Asian States by linking South, Central Asia, and China.
He expressed these view while at a meeting with China Railway Construction Corporation’s Chairman Meng Fengchao in Beijing on Wednesday.
Both sides reviewed the progress on CPEC infrastructure projects including the up gradation of Pakistan Railway’s ML-1 project. On the occasion, Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that linking Gwadar with the rest of the country and the establishment of rail links from Quetta to Peshawar are prioritised projects. Infrastructure projects would transform these remote areas into new urban centres, ensuring inclusive growth across Pakistan, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal stressed on China Railway to ensure participation of Pakistani institutions in infrastructure projects. “China Railway Corporation should utilise the existing industrial base and local production capabilities in railways and infrastructure projects” maintained Ahsan Iqbal.
China Railway Construction Corporation guaranteed to work in collaboration with Pakistani institutions and organisations. It was assured that Pakistani engineers would be given priority at every stage of the projects. It was highlighted that the Chinese side would work in line with Vision 2025 and the CPEC Long Term Plan.
Pakistan and China have agreed to upgrade and dualise Pakistan Railway’s main line (ML-1) from Karachi to Torkham which would support to run fast-moving trains in the future. The first phase of the project is expected to hit the ground this year. The up gradation of the ML1 would not only improve existing railway infrastructure but would double current speed, facilitating huge cargo transportation.
Earlier, addressing the CEO’s Forum at Boao Forum in China, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that CPEC is proving to be the oxygen for Pakistan as the country’s economic growth increased due to the huge investment being made in infrastructure and energy sector under the mega project. He said that there is broad consensus among all groups and political parties in the country to ensure the success of CPEC. He said under CPEC, nine industrial zones were being constructed across the country which will create numerous new jobs.
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