CPEC to transform Pakistan into a regional connectivity & trade hub: NSA Advisor

CPEC beneficial for both countries, everyone who participates in it: Moeed Yusuf

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BEIJING, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said that in the truest sense, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a benefit for both the countries as well as anyone and everyone who participates in it.

He expressed these views while sharing his views on the increasingly strong ties between China and Pakistan and the development of CPEC in an interview with Beijing Review.

Moeed Yusuf said, since the start of the project in 2014, significant progress has been made on the ground. In the first phase, energy and infrastructure development was the focus. So far, projects with a combined installed capacity of more than 9 Gigawatts have been completed, and work on other energy projects is continuing apace. To streamline internal connectivity, roads have also been built throughout the country.

“We are entering the second phase, which is critical for industrialization in Pakistan and connectivity between China, Pakistan, and the rest of the world. This phase will involve investment in a range of sectors, including agriculture science, and technology. Special economic zones will also be created to lead our industrialization process,” he added.

He said these projects will contribute to internal physical connectivity, job creation, agricultural modernization, and industrial expansion in our country. Most importantly, we envisage CPEC to be a springboard for transforming Pakistan into a regional connectivity and trade hub.

For China, Pakistan offers an attractive investment destination. Manufacturing and services, which may have become financially uncompetitive in China, can freely utilize these new opportunities in Pakistan to lower costs.

In the truest sense, the CPEC is a benefit for both states as well as anyone and everyone who participates in it, he added.

About the relationship between Pakistan and China, he said, the two countries have a longstanding relationship based on shared interests and mutual trust. There is consensus within Pakistan on further strengthening ties with China.

Both countries work together and cooperate on a range of issues. Additionally, in its recently unveiled first-ever National Security Policy, Pakistan acknowledges China’s indispensable role in realizing its geo-economic vision.

However, there is one key area both countries need to work on: people-to-people contact.

Cultural power and cultural ties have become increasingly important in this era of globalization and connectivity.

As more and more of our peoples interact, a greater understanding of each other’s cultures and traditions would benefit the relationship tremendously. Moving forward, this has to become a priority.

“We must increase cultural and sport exchange programs, scholarships, cooperation between think tanks, among other such initiatives,” he added.

On dealing with the challenges facing the CPEC, including the safety concerns, he said, the safety of any foreigner in Pakistan is our responsibility. Pakistan takes the concerns of Chinese workers and engineers seriously.

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