The long-term plan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be made public on December 18, Pakistan's Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said.
The long-term plan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be made public on December 18, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said. Addressing a CPEC Business Opportunities Conference here on Tuesday, Iqbal said the CPEC is a “game-changer” for Pakistan, pointing out that the pace of its implementation is accelerating and there is no room for complacency. “We cannot remain idle, if the world slows, we need to create new demand. There are around three billion people living in this region and 25 per cent GDP, which the CPEC will be in a position to connect,” Iqbal was quoted as saying by Dawn online on Wednesday. The CPEC is a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The 3,000 km, over $50 billion corridor stretches from Kashgar in western China to Gwadar port in Pakistan on the Arabian sea. The Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC had approved the long-term plan on November 21 without agreeing on development projects and special economic zones. Highlighting the investments coming into Pakistan under the CPEC framework, Iqbal criticised the Western governments, saying that “the Chinese are doing what the Americans and the Europeans should have done after the end of the Afghan war” that evicted the Soviets from Afghanistan. “That war helped bring down the Berlin Wall and made Europe safe. But we here in Pakistan are still paying the price for it,” he said.