CPEC to ensure Pakistan’s self-reliance in energy, diverse fields, says Sartaj

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SLAMABAD, Dec 13 (APP): Adviser to prime minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Tuesday said that Pakistan would attain self- reliance in multiple fields particularly energy under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing a CPEC Conference organized by Pakistan Society of Development Economics here, Sartaj Aziz said self-reliance in energy would ensure the availability of electricity at cheaper rates.
He said that China would also provide assistance to Pakistan in gaining energy through different sources including Liquified Natural Gas, hydel and thermal modes to produce 17,000 mega watt electricity.
The Adviser said completion of China’s agenda of ‘One Belt, One Road’ would encourage local and regional trade, adding that CPEC would also contribute to infrastructure development.
He mentioned that besides restoration of Korakorum Highway, some Chinese power companies would also install their plants in Pakistan.
He said the projects worth 36 billion dollar under CPEC were soft loans with marginal mark up rate. He said the country’s exports were not satisfactory other than textiles, however CPEC would bring a positive boost to other local  industries as well.
Sartaj said the CPEC would have a long-term impact at international level and would also bring a change in regional and global politics.
He termed CPEC equally important for Pakistan and the region and mentioned that Chinese leadership from day one was making efforts for regional connectivity, of which the KKH was exemplary in this regard.
The Adviser stressed the need for formulating reforms at national level to fully benefit from CPEC. He said that Pakistan was interested in initiating multiple projects under the CPEC including cement, electricity products and heavy machinery.
He said it was a high time for the country’s businessmen to invest in these projects, which would result in creating job opportunities for millions.
The Adviser said there was a need to develop workforce to meet the requirements of these projects under CPEC so as not to rely on Chinese workforce.
He said that China imports petroleum products from Gulf countries and added that CPEC would provide an access to Russia and Central Asian states.
Sartaj said Gwadar Port would open a new door of opportunities for the people of Balochistan and added that several industrial parks would be set up under the CPEC.
APP/Was/mka/ VNS Islamabad