CPEC is a success story: Yousaf Raza Gilani

Islamabad: Chairman Senate, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani this week termed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a success story and said that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan and China for 2nd phase underscored the will for continued collaboration in diverse sectors.

He expressed these views while addressing the launch of the Annual Sustainability Report 2023 in Islamabad. The event was jointly organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and China Chamber of Commerce Pakistan at Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).

“CPEC is a non-partisan agenda in Pakistan as all political parties stood with the government while having a detailed session with Liu Jian Chao, Minister of Central Committee of the International Department of Communist Party of China (IDCPC),” the Chairman Senate remarked.

Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani also observed that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was the first which under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari paved the way for the initiation of CPEC and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China and successive governments continued their resolve to have CPEC completed. “We are now entering the 2nd phase of CPEC with consistency in our relations and commitments by all political forces in Pakistan” Chairman Senate said.

He maintained that PPP’s founder Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Chinese leader Chairman Mao were the architects of strong brotherly relations between the two peoples.

“Benazir Bhutto and President Zardari, continued following the footsteps of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” he added.

Chairman Senate observed that Pakistan faced a multitude of challenges on economic, political and socio-economic fronts last year. However, amidst trials and tribulations, there emerged a story of resilience.

He underlined that Pakistan is fully committed to ensuring foolproof security for Chinese citizens and workers undertaking tasks on CPEC projects.

He highlighted that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is working to address these challenges and bottlenecks. He that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor since its inception, has unfolded at an accelerated pace and extended its roots to various sectors, encompassing energy, infrastructure, agriculture, transportation, and industrial development.

Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said that special emphasis is laid on the development of Special Economic Zones and both countries have expressed their shared commitment to sustaining economic growth while prioritizing environmental sustainability.

The Chairman Senate said that businesses should get benefit out of using Chinese currency instead of US dollars in Pakistan’s financial transactions. Encouraging businesses to leverage RMB instructions can diversify financial pressures on the current account situation, and hence will be helpful for Pakistani’s economy.

He said that both countries are committed to furthering green energy initiatives and low-carbon development. Pakistan aims to leverage Chinese expertise in renewable energy technologies to achieve its goal of increasing renewables to 30% of the energy mix by 2030.

The Chairman Senate said that Pakistan lauds President Xi Jinping’s vision and a substantial commitment of USD 100 billion to create a balance between development and the environment. Chinese banks are funding green CPEC projects which will play a great role in development and environmental protection.

Yousaf Raza Gilani urged both Chinese and Pakistani companies to develop such joint projects which can access these funds and implement projects speedily to the benefit of both people and investors. This, he said, will further strengthen business-to-business, people-to-people, and government-to-government relations.

Chairman Senate thanked SDPI and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Pakistan for their remarkable efforts and urged them to continue playing their role in the development and progress of Pakistan and further strengthening relations.

“Let us build bridges of understanding and cooperation, ensuring that our actions today pave the way for a brighter, more resilient tomorrow,” he remarked while concluding his speech.

He commended the SDPI and Chinese Chamber of Commerce Pakistan for their synergy and hard work in bringing out such a comprehensive document.