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Pakistan to establish a trade bond between South, Central Asia and China via CPEC: Ahsan Iqbal

Dated : 11 April 2018

Beijing, China, April 11, 2018: Minister for Interior and Planning, Development & Reform, Ahsan Iqbal said that completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would revolutionize trade ties between Asian States by linking South, Central Asia and China. He expressed these views while meeting with Mr. Meng Fengchao, Chairman China Railway Construction Corporation at Beijing on Wednesday. He maintained that both side reviewed progress on CPEC infrastructure projects including up gradation of Pakistan Railway’s ML-1 project. On the occasion, Minister Ahsan Iqbal told that linking Gwadar with rest of the country and establishment of rail links from Quetta to Peshawar are prioritized projects. Infrastructure projects would transform these remote areas into new urban centers, ensuring inclusive growth across Pakistan, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal stressed on China Railway to ensure participation of Pakistani institutions in Infrastructure projects. “China Railway Corporation should utilize existing industrial base and local production capabilities in railways and infrastructure projects” maintained Ahsan Iqbal.
China Railway Construction Corporation guaranteed to work in collaboration with Pakistani institutions and organizations. It was assured that Pakistani engineers would be given priority in every stage of the projects. It was highlighted that Chinese side would work in line with Vision 2025 and CPEC Long Term Plan. Minister maintained that Pakistan and China have agreed to upgrade and dualize Pakistan railway’s main line (ML-1) from Karachi to Torkham which would support to run fast moving trains in future. First phase of the project is expected to hit the ground this year. The up gradation of the ML1 would not only improve existing railway infrastructure but would double current speed, facilitating huge cargo transportation.
Earlier, addressing CEO’s Forum at Boao Forum in China, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that CPEC is proving to be oxygen for Pakistan as the country’s economic growth increased due to huge investment being made in infrastructure and energy sector under the mega project. He said that there is broad consensus among all groups and political parties in the country to ensure success of CPEC. He said under CPEC, nine industrial zones were being constructed across the country which will create numerous new jobs.