ISLAMABAD – The Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal here on Monday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would turn ties between Pakistan China into long-term strategic economic partnership.

Addressing an event for launching of Long Term Plan (LTP) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 2017-30 along with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, he said, “launching of Long term Plan of CPEC will turn the China-Pakistan bilateral relations into long term strategic economic partnership.”

Ahsan Iqbal said that the long term plan would expand the scope of cooperation in various new areas, including cooperation in social sectors along with economic fields.

He said that CPEC was a national plan approved by the both the Chinese and Pakistan government.” It will effectively match relevant national plans of China as well as Pakistan Vision 2025,” he added.

“This plan is effective until 2030, the short-term projects included will be considered by up to 2020; medium term project up to 2025 and long term projects up to 2030” he added.

The minister said Pakistan and China signed 46 billion dollar worth MoUs under CPEC and so far more than 27 billion dollars worth of investment has been energized.

Ahsan said CPEC identified four areas including energy, Gwadar Port development, infrastructure and industrial cooperation, in the first phase the government focused on connectivity especially construction of new highways along three accesses to western route, central route and eastern route of the CPEC, he added.

These are connecting remotest areas in Pakistan with main centres of development to create inclusive development model. He said Gwadar Port has been connected with Quetta through a 650 kilometer road reducing travel distance to merely eight hours.

Gwadar-Khuzdar-Rattodero was taken up as priority project while Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra highway would connect north-eastern remotest areas with main KKH. Gilgit-Chitral-Chak Darra highway will connect this region with main routes of CPEC.

Work has also been started on Panjgur-Nokundi road which will connect Western Balochistan with main Western route.

The minister thanked China for coming to the help of Pakistan by making huge investment under CPEC at a time when others were shy of investing in the country.

Govt to launch ‘CPEC Long Term Plan’ on Monday