The prime objective of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to steer betterment in lives of common Pakistanis, remarked CPEC Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa.

Interacting with members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday, Bajwa promised support for each and every initiative, which would enhance economic activities in Gwadar.

In that regard, the CPEC Authority chairman extended full support to LCCI’s plan to hold a business moot at Gwadar in March 2021.

“CPEC is a large-scale project that can change the destiny of Pakistan,” said Bajwa. “Work on the project is going on in full swing and under-developed areas are being given due importance.” He underlined the need for projecting CPEC as a regional connectivity initiative so that Pakistan could emerge as an economically developing state.

“CPEC will improve lives of people of Pakistan through construction of an economic corridor, which will explore the potential for bilateral investment, trade, logistics and people-to-people contact for regional connectivity,” he said.

Read: Pick up the pace of work on CPEC projects, ministries told

Moreover, Bajwa stated that the mega project included integrated transport and IT systems including road, rail, port, air and data communication channels, energy cooperation, industrial and economic zones, agricultural development and socio-economic development.

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah congratulated governments of Pakistan and China, Pakistan’s armed forces, contractors and companies involved.

“There should be a level playing field for both Chinese and Pakistani investors,” he emphasised. “So far, it has been observed that many products for CPEC projects are being imported at zero duty despite the fact that they are also manufactured locally.”

To boost the industrial sector and economy through CPEC, locally produced raw material should be prioritised and only those inputs which were not manufactured in Pakistan should be imported, he stressed.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2021.

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