Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project offered huge opportunity for Pakistan and the provincial governments were involved in all stages of the CPEC planning with special focus on the development of Balochistan. The prime minister stated this while chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at PM’s Office.
The meeting reviewed progress on various CPEC projects in view of the upcoming 7th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC).
Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Interior; and the Planning Commission of Pakistan presented an overall structure of CPEC, its institutional framework, project portfolios, current progress and future plans.
The Cabinet Committee reviewed progress on Road Infrastructure Projects and their projected completion dates.
The Railways Division made a presentation on feasibility of ML1 project including its detailed design and financing plan. Aviation Division presented detailed design and financing plan of Gwadar International Airport..
The Cabinet Committee was briefed on Energy Sector Projects including Gwadar Power Project, Karot and Kohala Hydel Power Projects, Mattiari-Lahore and Mattiari-Faisalabad HVDC Lines and coal projects in Thar.
The Cabinet Committee was informed that significant work has been completed on Energy Projects, which constituted a major portion of the CPEC. The Committee was also apprised regarding the measures undertaken for security of CPEC projects.
The meeting was attended by Hafiz Abdul Kareem Minister for Communications, Ahsan Iqbal Minister for Interior, Khawaja Saad Rafiq Minister for Railways, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo Minister for Maritime Affairs, Sartaj Aziz Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan, Miftah Ismaeel Special Assistant to PM, senior officials of Cabinet Division, Planning Division, Finance Division, Railways Division, Power Division, Petroleum Division, FBR, NHA, Economic Affairs Division, Maritime Affairs Division and Board of Investment.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday urged the world businessmen and entrepreneurs to benefit from the business-oriented policies of the government as well as investor-friendly environment of Pakistan, which was open for foreign investors in diverse areas.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a four-day “Emerging Pakistan” International Expo here, he said Pakistan being a multi-lingual country, having diverse cultures and presenting greater beauty ranging from the highest mountains to large deserts, offered lot of opportunities to investors.
The Expo organized by the Ministry of Commerce was attended by the companies and entrepreneurs from 85 countries of different regions and continents.
The Prime Minister said with over 200 million population, Pakistan had the highest 8.3% consumer growth and would have over 100 million of middle class by the next few years, adding, the foreign investors and companies currently working in Pakistan were getting the high rates of profits.
“We are open to foreign investment and welcome you,” he said and added, “We expect you all to make Pakistan your home, like others have done”.
About the issues facing the country, the Prime Minister said Pakistan had fought a war against terrorism and had won it, unlike others who failed..
He in this respect referred to the lot of sacrifices and efforts made by Pakistan and said it was unique in the country’s history.
The Prime Minister mentioned that Pakistan had a strengthening democracy and vibrant media.
He also mentioned the improved law and order in Karachi and said this metropolitan city which was being considered as one of the ten dangerous countries of the world few years back was now as safe as New York.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the improved economic statistics and said with a 6% GDP growth target set for FY 2017-18, the country had achieved 5% growth during the last fiscal year. Pakistan had low inflation rates and high levels of foreign investments, he added.
He said Pakistan had sustained policies vis a vis foreign investment, and with the change of government, there was no change in policies.