Ahsan Iqbal highlights Pak-China partnership as beacon of stability amidst global uncertainties

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Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal here on Friday highlighted the importance of Pakistan-China cooperation under CPEC amidst global uncertainties.

Addressing the China-Pakistan Political Parties Forum and the Third Meeting of CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism, the minister that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) serves as a beacon of stability, regional integration, and economic interdependence.

The event, attended by high-ranking officials and dignitaries, including Minister for International Department Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Liu JianChao and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Honorable Mohammad Ishaq Dar, underscored the enduring strength of the Pakistan-China relationship and the pivotal role of CPEC.

Ahsan Iqbal said, the development of Gwadar Port, a crucial component of CPEC, was noted for its strategic significance, providing China direct access to the Arabian Sea and promising economic revitalization for Pakistan, the minister added.

He said, CPEC was envisioned as part of a broader vision for regional prosperity, fostering economic cooperation with neighboring countries. Phase-II of CPEC aims to enhance Pakistan’s manufacturing capacity through industrial cooperation, attracting Chinese investment, and relocating industrial units to Special Economic Zones.

Ahsan Iqbal expressed profound gratitude to the Chinese leadership for their steadfast support in fostering bilateral cooperation and advancing the CPEC initiative and emphasized the unique nature of the meeting, which demonstrated national consensus on Pakistan-China relations and CPEC, transcending domestic political divisions.

He appreciated the Chinese leadership for hosting the Prime Minister of Pakistan during his recent visit, resulting in a strong consensus on bilateral matters, with both sides agreeing to enhance the strategic partnership and economic cooperation.

The 13th session of CPEC’s Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was successfully held on May 24, 2024 wherein Pakistan and China agreed to upgrade CPEC by introducing five new corridors: Growth Corridor, Livelihood Enhancing Corridor, Innovation Corridor, Green Corridor, and Opening Up/Regional Connectivity Corridor.

These new corridors align with Pakistan’s 5E framework, prioritizing export-led growth, digital development (e-Pakistan), environmental sustainability, energy and infrastructure development, and equity and empowerment.

Both sides agreed to expedite initiatives for modernizing Pakistan’s agricultural sector with advanced technologies. Cooperation will also extend to B2B links, industrial cooperation, science and technology, artificial intelligence, and exploration of offshore oil and gas resources.

Pakistan is committed to ensuring the security of Chinese personnel working in Pakistan and measures have been implemented to provide foolproof security, and continuous updates are shared with the Chinese Embassy regarding these actions.

Regardless of political changes, Pakistan remains committed to its relationship with China.

Over the past decade, substantial progress has been made across various CPEC projects, reaffirming this steadfast dedication.

Ahsan Iqbal recounted the recent launch of Pakistan’s satellite through a Chinese rocket, symbolizing the soaring heights of Pakistan-China friendship.