ISLAMABAD – Pakistan welcomes other countries to participate in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as it is not only beneficial for Pakistan but for the entire region, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque said on Wednesday.
“CPEC has now been opened with the consensus of Pakistan and China to third country participation and we welcome other countries to participate in this transformational project,” he said in an interview with Phoenix TV.
About the joining of regional countries to the CPEC, he said that Afghanistan is already participating. Recently, a shipment from Afghanistan was cleared from Gwadar port.
He said that infrastructure and connectivity projects can also take place between Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan and emphasized that it will help peace and stability in Afghanistan also.
Ambassador Haque said that India never accepted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and never joined it.
Updating on CPEC, he said, it was going very smoothly and steadily, adding, “We have completed the early harvest phase in which we have focused on infrastructure and energy projects and development of Gwadar Port which has helped Pakistan not only upgrade its road and communication network but it helped Pakistan addressed the acute shortage of electricity”.
In the energy sector, he said that nine projects amounting to US $18 billion have been completed and which have injected 5300 MW of electricity into the national grid and three more electricity projects of about 3000 MW are in the pipeline which was essential for the industry and consumers and common household.
In the second phase, we are focusing on those areas which touch people he said and added, the BRI as a whole project is a people centric project as it has been embraced by 130 countries because it is development-oriented and is helping people lives and bringing new jobs and opportunities and upgrading infrastructure and the CPEC is doing the same thing.
Ambassador Haque said that CPEC has helped develop remote areas of Pakistan, create, jobs and upgrade the skills of the people.
He said that agriculture and socio-economic development were a very important part of the CPEC Phase-II, so it was completely in line with the development agenda of the Pakistani government.