While expressing his determination to fully comply with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) criteria, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that Pakistan is now entirely secure and there is no possibility of default.
The prime minister expressed his determination to pursue the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project with renewed vigor and commitment, focusing on areas such as agriculture, special economic zones, information technology, and natural resource exploration.
The premier described CPEC as a “very transparent” scheme in which the Chinese government and businesses invested $25.4 billion in various projects.
He regretted that the previous government not only stalled work on the CPEC but also went to great lengths to undermine this “higher than the Himalayas” relationship. He did, however, say that the current coalition administration has made genuine attempts to enhance ties with China. He stated that we must learn a lot from China’s triumphs in numerous fields.
Recalling the start of work on the CPEC in 2013, the prime minister stated that this megaproject altered Pakistan’s landscape. He stated that it was due to the unwavering efforts of both countries’ leaders that projects such as coal and hydel power plants, the Orange Line, and road infrastructure were built in record time.
The prime minister praised China’s authorities and businesses for their unwavering support for the CPEC. He also acknowledged China’s recent financial assistance to Pakistan.
Shehbaz Sharif stated that a staff-level agreement with the IMF had been reached. He expressed optimism that the agreement will be approved at the IMF’s board meeting on July 12th.
Regarding the IMF agreement, he stated that China assisted Pakistan financially during difficult times. Pakistan has also received assistance from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He stated that the IMF accord had provided Pakistan with an opportunity to go forward. He stated that the Pakistani government was adamant about meeting the IMF’s requirements.
He went on to say that while some people wanted Pakistan to default, he no longer saw it as a possibility. “We have to save Pakistan’s poor people from inflation,” declared the prime minister. He urged philanthropists to come forward and help the administration reclaim the country’s former prominence. “We will work hard to make Pakistan self-sufficient,” he declared.
Chinese Charge d’Affaires Pang Chunxue stated on the occasion that the CPEC is one of the most successful projects of the Belt and Road Initiative. She stated that the CPEC’s successes would not have been feasible without the combined efforts of both countries governments.
She expressed her admiration and encouragement for the prime minister’s dedication to advancing the CPEC. She stated that Pakistan and China will continue to work together to ensure the project’s high-quality development.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal stated that CPEC is an expression of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s and our leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision, under which Pakistan-China ties were converted from geopolitical to geoeconomic.
He further stated that CPEC is a symbol of a time-honored strategic cooperative collaboration between the two “iron brothers” – Pakistan and China. He stated today that projects under the CPEC portfolio of 29 billion dollars have either been finished or are in the process of completion.
The minister expressed sadness that the CPEC had been hindered and baseless propaganda was spread against Chinese enterprises and businessmen during the previous government’s four years in office. However, during the last year, we have been successful in regaining the trust of Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Prime Minister Sharif previously expressed his deepest congratulations to Pakistan and China on the completion of CPEC after ten years.
In a message of congratulations, he thanked the two countries’ governments and people, stating that Pakistan and China are “iron brothers,” and that CPEC is a new chapter in their time-tested and evergreen strategic cooperative partnership.
“CPEC is also an embodiment of China’s great leader Xi Jinping’s and our Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of “Development for All,” the prime minister remarked. He added that the Belt and Road Initiative reflects President Xi Jinping’s ideology of peace, friendship, economic partnership, and coexistence. He further stated that CPEC is President Xi Jinping’s gift to the people of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister expressed sadness that the CPEC had been stymied for four years and that unfounded accusations had been levied against our great friend China. He stated that opponents of CPEC are opponents of growth, peace, and prosperity in Pakistan and the region and that they do not want our people to be free of poverty.
He stated that we are quickening the pace of CPEC, which is a game-changing project aimed at eradicating poverty, unemployment, and economic stagnation.
The prime minister asked India to reap the benefits of CPEC rather than putting obstacles in its path. According to him, CPEC will assist Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the entire region.
He stated that it is not only a project with goals of improving road, rail, port, and aviation links, but also a fantastic strategy for health, education, skill development, and collaboration in the development process.
Shehbaz Sharif stated that the CPEC project’s building of nine Special Economic Zones across the country will promote knowledge transfer, industry collaboration, and increase local output.
He added that the CPEC includes capacity building for the National Disaster Management Authority as well as proactive steps for natural disaster prevention. It also includes collaborative ventures for agricultural growth, which would secure the country’s food security.