Pakistani, Chinese staff join hands to make CPEC success story: minister
Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal (7th L, Rear) and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong (6th L, Rear) pose for a group photo with Pakistani staff of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project at an awarding ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Dec. 30, 2022. Iqbal said on Friday that Pakistani and Chinese staff of CPEC project have joined hands to work hard with dedication as a team to make the project a success story. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Friday that Pakistani and Chinese staff of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project have joined hands to work hard with dedication as a team to make the project a success story.
Launched in 2013, CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar Port with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.
Speaking at an awarding ceremony for outstanding Pakistani staff of CPEC projects in the year 2022, Iqbal said that after its inception in 2013, CPEC has changed the international community's impression of Pakistan from a hotbed of terrorism to a land worthy of massive investment in construction, bringing in multi-billion U.S. dollars in investment in the country.
"CPEC opened the door for billions of U.S. dollars to flow into Pakistan as foreign and domestic investment," he said.
The minister said that because of CPEC, Pakistan could end 16 to 18 hours of load shedding by adding more than 5,000 megawatts of energy projects within only several years.
"Under cooperation with China, we developed energy projects in all generation areas, including coal, hydropower, wind, solar and renewable energy projects, which diversified Pakistan's energy portfolio," he added.
Iqbal said that CPEC also brought a connectivity revolution in Pakistan, and a network of motorways and highways was constructed across Pakistan to provide connectivity within Pakistan and to enhance connectivity between Pakistan and China.
"The Chinese are engaging with Pakistani to bring our economy from the agricultural into an industrial structure, to reform our economy to be modern and advanced one," Iqbal said, adding that the purpose of CPEC is not to advance China's business interests but to help Pakistan improve its economy to become a modern industrial country.
Calling the staff "the heroes of CPEC," the minister said that the Chinese staff who left home but dedicated themselves here and the Pakistani staff who work day by day all deserve the great compliment and appreciation.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said that it was a year that witnessed the deepening of all-around cooperation between the two countries, and despite the challenges of the global economic downturn and severe flood in Pakistan, the CPEC projects have made sound achievements.
He said that CPEC's Pakistani staff are not only the constructors and participants but also the witnesses and promoters of a brilliant history.
"China and Pakistan's cooperation will always provide a broad stage for people to display their talents and realize personal values," he said, hoping that both countries' staff will cherish the opportunity, contribute to the construction of CPEC with practical actions and continue to consolidate the ironclad friendship between China and Pakistan.