Chinese model to be followed in special economic zones construction: Pak Ambassador
BEIJING: Pakistan will follow the Chinese model in the establishment of its industrial parks and special economic zones in different regions under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid said on Friday.
“We have identified and selected nine locations in different regions of Pakistan where industrial parks and economic zones will be established. Pakistan will like to study China’s model,” he told China Radio International (CRI) which is producing a documentary on CPEC to further highlight the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
He said the industrial cooperation was a very important component of CPEC and the governments of Pakistan and China had already agreed to set up industrial parks and special economic zones.
Ambassador Khalid informed that in the last three and half years, two big coal-based power projects in Sahiwal and Port Qasim with each having more than 13000-megawatt electricity production capacity had been completed under the energy cluster of CPEC.
He said a number of energy production projects were also simultaneously started and completed. For example, there were three or four wind power projects in Sindh province.
Work also started on some major water-based hydro projects while solar power plants with the capacity of 400 megawatts had been added, he added.
In fact, the first phase of the CPEC was about to completion in which about 22 energy projects were in different phases of implementation, he added.
Ambassador Khalid said two mega projects were being completed under the infrastructure and transportation cooperation under the CPEC which included modernization and up-gradation of Karakoram Highway (KKH) and construction of Sukkur-Multan section of motorway.
The KKH, the friendship road between Pakistan and China, was a very high altitude road and it physically linked up China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and moved on to link up Islamabad, he added.
He said another big project was a 392 KM section of Sukkur-Multan motorway which linked up south to north and north to south from Karachi to Peshawar and it was being constructed by a Chinese company.
Ambassador Khalid said the third area of cooperation under the CPEC was Gwadar port development which would be linked up Kashghar, an important city in southern Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
He said work was under progress for the development of Gwadar port. Now cargo ships were coming to Gwadar port.
He said there was a plan to develop Gwadar city into a smart city.
“Gwadar is like Shenzhen, a coastal city and big metropolis of China, which used to be a fishing village but it has not totally transformed into a big city and was center of all the multinational high-tech companies.”
Gwadar was also a small fishing village or a town and its complexion and shape were being changed because of ongoing development activities, he said and added, it would have a new international airport, new roads, new schools, new hospitals, and new water treatment plants.
Ambassador Khalid expressed the confidence the landscape of Gwadar would totally be changed. The prime minister also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the implementation and advancement of the CPEC which was part of President Xi Jinping Belt and Road Initiative.
He remarked that like BRI, the CPEC also revolved around the philosophy of connectivity and people to people contacts.
“We will also show to our Chinese friends what Pakistan has achieved in the field of information technology, education and science, and technology,” he added.
He said the education sector was very important for Pakistan and added, more than 25,000 Pakistani students were studying in China. They were not only specializing in their own particular subjects or disciplines but they were also learning Chinese language and culture.
“These students will become good friends of China and a good ambassador of Pakistan and China friendship and their services and talent can also be utilized,” he added.