Pakistan PM Khan launches various mega projects in Gwadar – News Vibe24

    Pakistan PM Khan launches various mega projects in Gwadar - Times of India
    Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched a groundbreaking major project and launched a series of other infrastructure operations as part of the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the strategic coastal city of Guadar, Pakistan.
    CPEC, which connects the port of Guadar in Pakistan’s Pakistani province with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China’s multi-billion dollar ambitious Belt and Road (BRI) initiative. It will give China an opening to the Arabian Sea.
    The BRI is seen as China’s attempt to boost its influence abroad with Chinese-funded infrastructure projects around the world.
    Khan inaugurated North Guadar Free Zone 2, the Guadar Exhibition Center and Henan Agricultural Industrial Park, as well as the opening of three factories, such as the Guadar Fertilizer Factory and the Guadar Animal Vaccine.
    He also attended the signing of various Memoranda of Understanding with China aimed at building a modern hospital, an international airport and a professional institute, as well as tackling Guadar’s water and electricity problems.
    He was also briefed on the progress of the South Baluchistan development package, as part of the government’s efforts to focus on the province.
    In his speech, Khan said that Pakistan is on the way to becoming a “big country”.
    “I dream of a future for Pakistan – and I grew up with Pakistan. This nation is moving towards becoming a great country,” he said.
    Khan said he had come to visit Guadar for two reasons: to inaugurate Phase 2 of the Guadar Free Zone and for the development of Balochistan. “Guadar is becoming a focal point for Pakistan, which will benefit the country and especially Baha’i,” he said.
    He said the Guadar International Airport, being built with the help of China, would connect the city to the world and boost trade.
    He said Chinese investors under CPEC were aiming to set up such industries that would help Pakistan increase its exports.
    “Unfortunately, we have never focused on exports and it will help bring in dollars,” he said, adding that Pakistan has always been at the mercy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said on the occasion that China is committed to developing the CPEC project under the vision of common prosperity.
    “We are committed to promoting the program to ensure Pakistan’s economic development,” he said.
    He said Beijing would provide strong support to Islamabad, both geopolitically and geoeconomically. “The project will create a large-scale economy, create more employment opportunities and strengthen the manufacturing sector.”
    Among the projects launched was the high-value 2,200-acre North Guadar Free Zone 2 to set up an industry hub. According to Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, it was much larger than Phase 1, which consists of 60 acres, and would help accelerate Pakistan’s industrialization.
    “This reflects the growing interest of Chinese and other investors in the Guadar Free Zone,” he said on Twitter.
    CPEC is a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction across Pakistan since 2013. Initially valued at $ 46 billion, the projects have been valued at $ 62 billion since 2017.
    India has protested to China over CPEC as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
    The head of the CPEC authority, Lieutenant Asim Saleem Bajwa, said that Iran’s trade through the port of Guadarwar would begin as soon as infrastructure was developed.
    “The Ramadan-Gambid crossing point near Guadar is active and fully operational now, fencing work on the Pakistan-Iran border is continuing rapidly and new border markets are being created at the crossing points,” he said in a video message.
    He also praised Phase 2 of the free zones, saying that about 46 companies were involved in Phase I of the free zone, while 12 new factories were set up, three of which were completed.
    He said traffic at the port was increasing. Last year, trading volume increased “hundreds of times” as 60,000 metric tonnes of cargo were transported in the 2020-21 fiscal year, compared to just 1,300 metric tonnes last year.
    Earlier, Prime Minister Hahn arrived in the city on a day-to-day visit to inspect the projects. Accompanied by members of the federal cabinet.
    Khan also said that Pakistan was working to bring peace to Afghanistan, with the help of other countries in the region.
    “Everybody is trying to establish peace in Afghanistan,” he said. “We will also try to talk to the Taliban to enable a political settlement in Afghanistan.”
    Khan said that Guadar would be used to connect the countries of Central Asia. However, he added that the only concern for all countries is peace in Afghanistan. “A civil war in Afghanistan would mean that trade with Central Asian countries would be cut off,” he said.
    His comments came as reports of an impending civil war erupted after the withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from the war-torn neighboring nation. SH AMS AKJ AMS

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