CPEC emerges as catalyst for investment, technology transfer: Gillani

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He was addressing the launch ceremony of the “China Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Development Report 2023” of CCCPK (formerly “All-Pakistan Chinese Enterprises’ Association APCEA), co-organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) Hall.

The report was unveiled by Chairman Senate, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, Chinese Minister Counsellor, Yang Guangyuan, Prime Minister’s Coordinator on Climate Change, Romina Khurshid Alam, and Chairman CCCPK, Wang Huihua.

Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani said Pakistan has faced a lot of testing times whereas the perseverance and patience of its masses created narratives of resilience emanating from the stories of resilient and successful men and women bracing all the challenges.

He said that the CPEC is a nonpartisan agenda in Pakistan as all of its opposition parties support the government on it. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was the first under the leadership of then President Asif Ali Zardari who paved way for initiation of the CPEC.

Moreover, the successive governments of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and the current government rendered extreme commitment for CPEC, he added. He said the government of Pakistan was mindful of the challenges faced by the Chinese companies, and people working on various projects under CPEC and was ensuring fool proof security for the Chinese citizens.

Gillani informed that the bureaucratic processes were being streamlined and Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) like institutions were developed to expedite different projects under the second phase of CPEC or CPEC2.0.

“CPEC has created 155,000 skilled and unskilled jobs for local masses in Pakistan. However, the singing of MoU for CPEC’s second phase underscores continued collaboration in industrial development, green energy initiatives, low carbon development, and other areas,” the Chairman Senate said.

CPEC 2.0, he said, would upgrade and implement renewed focus on industrialisation, sustainability, and inclusivity.

“Pakistan lauds President Xi Jinping’s commitment and funding of $100 billion for Greening BRI for eco-friendly development. Chinese banks play a fundamental part in greening of the CPEC projects, pivotal for development and environmental protection. Both countries are eager for collaborative green initiatives, such as green bonds, concessional financing, and Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPS). I urge Chinese to work out solutions to improve access to these financing tools and initiate all economic transactions in Chinese RMB instead of USD,” Gillani said.

The Senate Chairman underlined that the developmental transition under CPEC should prioritise wealth creation and human development, whereas fostering public private partnerships can help achieve this crucial goal.

Chinese Minister Counsellor, Yang Guangyuan termed the occasion as an opportunity to express that China was confident of Pakistan’s bright future. He noticed that within three months of the new government’s operationalization all economic indicators have improved significantly. The annual inflation slowed to 18% which is two-year low and the IT exports witnesses 62% remarkable increase, he added.

“CPEC has entered phase two. To transform our vision into reality, we need new ideas, new approaches and new players. When we talk about attracting new investors, we should remember that the current investors’ success is the best commercial for Pakistan.” Yang added that Chinese companies are growing business in Pakistan whereas 300 projects were being implemented by hundreds of Chinese companies that were hiring some 40,000 Pakistani people under different projects.
The Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said that the CPEC is a vision of shared prosperity envisioned by the leadership of Chima and Pakistan. He said the second phase of CPEC would bring more prosperity and development not only to the country but to the region as well.
On the occasion, Romina Khurshid Alam, Prime Minister’s Coordinator for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination said that the CPEC is a strategic manifestation of ‘One Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)’ whereas the latter has resulted in substantial results ensuring development all over the world.
She highlighted that the Chinese have developed new green financing tools like green bonds, loans, insurances, carbon finance, leasing, transition loans that had great potential for Pakistan to explore green finance opportunities.
The Belt and Road forum in 2023 underscored the need to develop green initiatives and the Chinese leading role in green financing through massive increase in green loans, leasing, bonds, and concessional financing are out of the box solutions being created in this regard, she added.
“Public private partnerships and innovative financing instruments will play pivotal role in energy transition efforts. However, Pakistan pursuits of climate diplomacy have been harmonized with sustainable development and environmental sustainability to turn challenges into opportunities,” Romina Khurshid said.
Chairman CCCPK, Wang Huihua in his opening remarks thanked the partners and contributors to the third sustainable development report launched by CCCPK.
He said Chinese enterprises have devotedly adhered to sustainable development in Pakistan during CPEC development with focus on local communities’ development.
Wang noted that the completion of CPEC first phase projects and Gwadar Port development is a testament to the Chinese commitment towards mutually beneficial endeavours.
He also mentioned about various projects developed by the Chinese companies under CPEC including cooperation on Chashma Nuclear Power Plant project, Pakistan National Optic Fiber development project and China Mobile Pakistan’s skill trainings and biomedical and healthcare facilities in Sandik.
Energy and Economic Expert from SDPI, Dr Khalid Waleed in his welcome remarks stated that it was a pivotal partnership between CCCPK and SDPI whereas both the organisations were working out strategies to shift from CPEC1.0 to CPEC2.0 as the latter demands more human centric approaches to harness the investment in CPEC’s first phase.
He informed that the SDPI is working on more regional connections and had a dedicated China Study Centre and Green CPEC alliance where Pakistan China Institute (PCI), PRIED and others with the help of CCCPK were working on promoting B2B and G2G arrangements under CPEC2.0.
The dignitaries were also presented souvenirs by the Chinese officials at the end of the launching ceremony.