BEIJING, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal reached here, after attending the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference-2023, to hold important meetings with Chinese authorities.
During a meeting with President of ‘Power China’ Chan Guanfu, the minister appreciated the contribution of Chinese enterprises in the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Ahsan Iqbal said the people of Pakistan would never forget that China helped them at a time when the whole country was plunged into darkness due to power shortages.
Through CPEC energy projects Pakistan was able to overcome its energy shortage, he said recalling Power China’s longstanding friendship with Pakistan and many important projects undertaken for enhancing Pakistan’s energy & infrastructure including coal-fired power plants in Port Qasim, RLNG power plant in Haveli Bahadur Shah and Dawood Wind Power Project.
He invited the power China’ to invest in solar energy for which the government has announced a special initiative to launch 10,000 MW.
He assured ‘Power China’ of the government’s full facilitation for the implementation of the projects and resolution of all issues.
Later Chairman of ‘China Road and Bridge Corporation Du Fei called upon the Planning minister.
Ahsan Iqbal underscored the importance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in strengthening and modernizing infrastructure in Pakistan in the last few years.
He highlighted the role of connectivity projects in the socio-economic development of Pakistan, acknowledging CRBC’s contributions to executing important transport and infrastructure development in Pakistan from the construction of KKH in 1966 to the construction of the Havelian-Thakot motorway in 2017-18.
The minister welcomed the proposed Karachi coastal comprehensive development zone (KCCDZ) project, which envisaged an investment of over $ 3 billion in Karachi, Babusar Tunnel Project, feasibility study for the new Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway alignment (M9) and other important projects.
Ahsan Iqbal expressed confidence that these projects would act as an emerging hub for tourism, IT, ports, shipping and services as it would also create thousands of new jobs for talented youth.
He assured the government’s full support for the successful implementation of the proposed projects.
The Planning Minister also highlighted the special friendship and iron brotherhood between China and Pakistan, which is time-tested and timeless.
He hoped to promote cultural exchanges and enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries to further strengthen the existing friendship and foster better understanding to explore each other countries’ rich history, natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Chinese company representatives appreciated the contribution of the minister in making the CPEC a success, assuring full support in taking CPEC into the next phase of cooperation.
They thanked the minister for the assurance to address the concerns of the companies.
Ahsan Iqbal assured that Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif was personally supervising the progress of CPEC projects and that the new government was committed to reviving the same speed with which CPEC was moving during 2013-18.