Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would complement regional connectivity initiatives of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries.
In his welcome address at the 15th CAREC Ministerial Meeting in Islamabad on the theme of ‘Linking Connectivity with Economic Transformation in CAREC’, Dar said the CPEC “offers a massive opportunity for connectivity between Central Asia, Middle East and Africa and is bound to play a defining role in the economic development of our region”.
Improving transport corridor was not an end in itself but it was an investment in establishing sound infrastructure and complementary frameworks for opportunities in shared prosperity for the present and future generations of our region, Dar said.
He added that CAREC and Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy (TTFS) provided the platform to ensure effective implementation of communications, transport and trade-related projects.
“Once the six CAREC corridors and major seaports start providing access to the global markets, they will deliver services that will be important for national and regional competitiveness, productivity, employment, mobility, and environmental sustainability”, he remarked.
He was confident that the areas of collaboration and specific initiatives under the CAREC Programme would significantly improve connectivity in the region.
“The projects being implemented in the four core areas of communications, trade facilitation, trade policy and energy coupled with the economic corridor development would enable increased trade, enhanced availability of energy and improvement in quality of lives for all people in the region”, he said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the meeting, organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Division.
President of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao, representatives of CAREC member states, members of the Diplomatic Corps, federal ministers and senior officials attended the meeting.
‘CPEC will uplift whole region’: PM
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while inaugurating the meeting said, “CPEC will go beyond bilateral initiatives and lead to uplift and economic development of whole region,” Radio Pakistan reported.
“Our transport and construction related activities will gain further momentum on the back of infrastructure and power sector development programme under CPEC,” he added.
“Pakistan is committed to promote economic and social development through regional cooperation,” he said.
Pakistan’s focus on energy, economic revival and stabilization has resulted in remarkable and impressive economic growth, the PM claimed, adding that transportation and construction activities would gain momentum on the back of infrastructural and power sector development under the CPEC.
The premier added that Pakistan’s cooperation in the CAREC reaffirmed its resolve for regional integration and provides valuable opportunity for enhancement of our ties in all four areas of focus.