BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)being a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was a blessing for Pakistan.
“CPEC has given us an opportunity to catch up with other nations and attract investment from China and other countries,” he said while addressing the participants of a reception, hosted in his honour by China International Cultural Communication Center here.
The prime minister said China was the fastest growing economy in the world and obviously, China was the main home from where the government was expecting investors.
He, however, said because of CPEC, other countries were now looking to invest in Pakistan.
He said in the beginning, the CPEC was just a road and a couple of power stations for energy, but now CPEC has gone far ahead.
The prime minister mentioned the diversified cooperation between Pakistan and China and said Pakistan was seeking cooperation in agriculture, science and technology, artificial intelligence and poverty alleviation.
The way China took over 700 million people out of poverty during the last 30 years had impressed the people in Pakistan, he added.
He said his government was looking forward to Chinese investment in special economic zones, which were in the process of being set up in Pakistan.
“These special economic zones are the part of CPEC and we are hoping the investment from China and relocation of Chinese industries in these special economic zones,” he added.
He pointed out that labor cost in Pakistan was low as compared to China and Pakistan would really benefit from relocation of certain industries which would help increase exports and achieve economic prosperity.
Pakistan, he said, was focusing to establish peace and stability in the region and hoping for a political solution of Afghanistan through dialogues between the relevant parties.
He said peace and stability in Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan as whatever happens in Afghanistan it affects Pakistan border areas.
About relations with Iran, he said, “We have a decent relationship with Iran and we are trying to strengthen it.”
He hoped that after the general election in India, the two countries would resume dialogue.
He said the region could not achieve economic prosperity without peace and stability.
The prime minister said the relationship between Pakistan and China had always got stronger as both the countries stood by each other in difficult times.
“China has always been our time-testing friend because of that there was a strong relationship between the people of Pakistan and China,” he maintained.
Earlier, China Pakistan Friendship Association Chairman Sha Zu Kang welcomed the prime minister and his delegation for their visit to China and expressed the confidence that the relationship between the two countries would further grow in future.