Beijing : Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque has lauded the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a game changer for Islamabad, saying that the mega project has brought peace, prosperity and development opportunities not only to Pakistan but also to the entire region.
The CPEC, which is fully aligned with Pakistan’s development agenda, is an excellent example of an open, coordinated, and inclusive development paradigm that benefits all parts of the country and all segments of the society, he said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
The remarks by Ambassador Haque came as Pakistan hosted an event in Islamabad to celebrate the launch of the CPEC a decade ago. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the event, reiterating Beijing commitment to building the CPEC into an exemplary project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Xi’s message has been described by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif as a powerful message of support and solidarity with Pakistan which reflects his commitment to the well-being of the people of Pakistan.
For Ambassador Haque, the message speaks volumes about the time-tested bilateral friendship, which he said is based on exceptional trust, understanding, strategic communication and practical cooperation.
It is so reassuring and heartening to receive President Xi personal support and commitment to working with Pakistan for building the CPEC as an exemplary project, Ambassador Haque said.
He underlined the development of Gwadar Port as being central to the CPEC.The port is now operational and is ready to serve as a hub for trade and investment. Phase one of the Gwadar Free Trade Zone has also been completed, he said.
The CPEC has so far brought about $25 billion in investment to Pakistan, which has created over 200,000 employment opportunities, including jobs for local residents.
As the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC has transformed Pakistan’s infrastructure landscape and has provided a solid foundation for its future growth and development, he said.
Going forward, Ambassador Haque said that Pakistan remains hopeful that the second phase of high-quality development of the CPEC will usher in new dividends for the socioeconomic development of Pakistan and other countries in the region.
The new phase will also lend a renewed impetus to harvest the dividends of globalization, by boosting bilateral and multilateral trade and foreign direct investment projects, he said.
Our two countries have now invited third-party cooperation to realize the optimum potential of the CPEC. Many countries have expressed interest to invest in the CPEC and become part of this initiative.
He added that the BRI as espoused collective efforts for the shared prosperity, development and well-being of the international community. Pakistan has been one of the earliest participants of this global initiative and proudly shared its vision and objectives.