Long Term Plan of China Pakistan Economic Corridor has been launched to enable the country to harness its true economic potential.
The document was launched by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal at a ceremony in Islamabad today.
The Minister said the purpose of the Long Term Plan is to provide high quality of life to citizens in an inclusive manner.
He said the plan will greatly speed up industrialisation and urbanization process in Pakistan.
The Minister for Planning said Pakistan and China signed 46 billion dollar worth of MoUs under CPEC and so far more than 27 billion dollars worth of investment has been energized. He said this much investment is either under implementation on ground or its financing has been secured. He said this is one of the great success stories of recent times that in such a short span of time so much investment has been mobilized between any two countries.
He said CPEC identified four areas: energy, Gwadar Port development, infrastructure and industrial cooperation. He said in the first phase, attempt has been made to address Pakistan’s immediate problems as no worthwhile investment was made for fourteen years in the energy and infrastructure. This proved to be a major bottleneck for economic growth.
The Minister said in the first phase, focus was on connectivity especially construction of new highways along three accesses to Western Route, Central Route and Eastern route of the CPEC. These are connecting remotest of areas in Pakistan with main centres of development to create inclusive development model.
He said Gwadar Port has been connected with Quetta through a 650 kilometer road reducing travel distance to mere eight hours.
Gwadar-Khuzdar-Rattodero was taken up as priority project while Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra highway would connect north-eastern remotest areas with main KKH.
The Gilgit-Chitral-Chak Darra highway will connect this region with main routes of CPEC. Work has also been started on Panjgur-Nokundi road which will connect Western Balochistan with the main Western route.
Ahsan Iqbal said China has provided a grant and also designated one of the top design institutes to help prepare Master Plan of Gwadar for 2020-2050 so that its development takes place in controlled manner. He said Gwadar is destined to emerge as most modern smart port in the region.
The Minister thanked China for coming to the help of Pakistan by making huge investment under CPEC at a time when others were shy of investing in the country.