Interview: CPEC to boost Pakistani economy through agriculture, industrialization

Pakistani economy will get a boost under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which will enable the country to enhance industrial and agriculture production besides improving its connectivity to regional countries, Chairman of the country’s CPEC Authority said.

Interview: CPEC to boost Pakistani economy through agriculture, industrialization

By Misbah Saba Malik

Interview: CPEC To Boost Pakistani Economy Through Agriculture, Industrialization : The first phase of CPEC has filled the voids of the infrastructure of Pakistan, with primary focus on energy and communication infrastructure, and the second phase will be more about passing the benefits of CPEC to the general public of the country by creating employment and investment opportunities through initiation of industrialization and broadening the scope of agriculture sector, the Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa said in an interview with Chinese media on Friday.

“We will increase our exports, and it will be a big boost to our economy. And similarly, when we go into agriculture, this is going to benefit maximum people by creating more employment and enhancing the yields of the crops of the farmers … CPEC is a project which will eventually benefit the people of Pakistan,” he said.

Briefing about Pakistan’s plan to boost industrialization process under CPEC, he said the authority identified nine special economic zones in which they will invite investors from all over the world to set up or relocate their industry, enabling the country to increase its exports.

He said his country was affected by COVID-19, but the pandemic did not had any impact on CPEC projects which kept on working at full swing and no project was halted, adding that the Chinese working on CPEC in Pakistan came to the country on chartered planes to complete the ongoing projects.

Talking about the improving connectivity with regional countries under CPEC, Bajwa said that freights from Afghanistan have already started coming to Gwadar port, and central Asian countries have also approached the Pakistani Commerce Ministry to let them move their freights via Gwadar.

“Gwadar port has great potential, a huge potential for trans-shipment … It is going to open up so many avenues … So many new companies are approaching us and the relevant ministries to start the trading via Gwadar.”

On the forthcoming railway project Main Line-1 (ML-1) under the framework of CPEC, he said the project will not only enhance connectivity within Pakistan, but will also connect it with other regional countries and with their railways.

“It will open up this entire region for a great economic boom. We see a very bright future and very bright prospects for CPEC. Its dividends are not only for Pakistan and its people, but for the people of the entire region.”

The ML-1 project is the rehabilitation and upgradation of the 1,872-km railway track between Karachi and Peshawar.

He added that through (ML-1), connectivity with the regional countries and movement of freights to and from the regional countries will not only integrate the region but also bring more lasting peace and boost Pakistani economy development economies in the regional countries.

“I can assure that the people of Pakistan and the government have a very clear vision, that there is nothing which can stop or disrupt the progress of CPEC. CPEC is for the future of this country. Our economic future is linked with our iron brother China. Therefore, it will progress … nothing will be able to disrupt or slow down the progress of CPEC.”

He also lauded China for its support to enable Pakistan to handle COVID-19 at the initial stage of the outbreak, recalling the time when the Pakistani president visited China during the peak of pandemic to show support to China, and the Chinese government, companies and people helped Pakistan by sending bulk of medical equipment to fight against the viral disease after the pandemic outbreak in the country. 

Originally published at Xinhua net