South Asia through CPEC can benefit Central Asian gas, oil resources

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Salim Ahmed

Lahore

South Asia could drive the benefits from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it is an energy deficient region which can use Central Asia’s huge gas and oil resources to help address its energy deficits.
Talking to Chinese’ furniture producers’ delegation, Life member of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Chief Executive Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Mian Kashif Ashfaq here on Friday said Gwadar Port will be connected with Central Asia for trade and energy transportation. “Once the way is open to Central Asia for bilateral trade, the markets of Europe will also be accessible to South Asian,” he added.
He further said the economic corridor will connect China to the world and will have a significant impact on the China, Pakistan and regional economies as its role in bringing prosperity to the region cannot be ignored. “Social economic development is critical to convert challenges into opportunities in South Asia,” adding he said the South Asia needs to connect with CPEC to derive benefits of the project which is spanned largely yielding investment and economic opportunities for South Asian nations which have potential and interest to gain from CPEC.”
He said Pak-China Economic Corridor project will lift friendship to new heights as this project will have profound impact not only on Pakistan and China but entire region. Pakistan is a hub of business activities for South Asia, Central Asia and China, adding he said the corridor project will impact lives of three billion people in Asia. China-Pakistan economic corridor projects envisage $34 billion investment in energy sector and around $11 billion in infrastructure sector. These projects offer immense opportunities to businesses in both countries and will give boost to Pakistan’s economy.
Mian Kashif Ashfaq said the corridor would also ensure people’s well-being and improve their living standards across the board. He said that CPEC was an important consensus reached between our leaders and governments and had the full support of the peoples of the two countries.
“It will strengthen the time-tested China-Pakistan friendship, bring the two brotherly countries closer and lay a solid foundation for building a China-Pakistan community of shared destiny,” he said.“The CPEC will equally benefit all the provinces of Pakistan in addition to changing the fate of over 3 billion people living in the South Asian region,” Mian Kashif said.
He further said that after the construction of CPEC, we would attain the confidence and ability to sustain a medium growth rate. He was of the view that during the next five years, we would pursue innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development which focused on implementing the strategy of innovation-driven growth.
The visiting Chinese delegation thanked PFC Chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq and hoped that CPEC would also help boosting Pak-handmade classical furniture. China always stood by Pakistan in its difficult times adding CPEC was a game changer project not only for Pakistan but for the entire region.
In response to the sentiments expressed by PFC Chief Mian Kashif, the visiting Chinese delegation also observed that Pakistani and Chinese companies should follow a two way investment strategy; not only Chinese but Pakistani companies should also invest in China.
To this PFC Chief highlighted the hurdles faced by Pakistani entrepreneurs in getting visa for China; therefore the guest delegation expressed resolve to highlight this issue in China.