A two-day summit and expo regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been started in Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Monday, with an aim to provide a platform for exchanging ideas and open new avenues for increasing businesses and to explore opportunities in CPEC.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the two-day CPEC Summit and Expo at the Pakistan-China Friendship Center in Islamabad, which is being organized by Pakistan's Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms.
Inaugural session was also attended by Pakistan's Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, Chief Ministers of Pakistani provinces, diplomats, members of the parliament, academics, heads of Chinese companies investing in Pakistan, and 110 other delegates from China.
Addressing the inaugural session, Prime Minister Sharif said the CPEC would not only serve as a game-changer for Pakistan, but a fate-changer for entire region by helping it get rid of economic deprivation and attain peace and prosperity.
"The CPEC is a new concept of diplomacy based on shared goals of prosperity for Pakistan and the region, and a project to eliminate poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. It will not only improve Pakistan's own infrastructure but will also provide it the much needed know-how, knowledge and expertise in new technologies," said the Prime Minister.
The PM also visited the stalls, set up by Pakistani and Chinese companies and by different departments of Pakistan's federal and provincial governments at the exhibition halls, and expressed satisfaction over their performance in the projects related to the CPEC.
On the occasion, Pakistan's Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, said the summit is organized to mark the completion of three years of signing of CPEC project between China and Pakistan and its main aim is to strengthen business to business relationships besides enabling Pakistani provinces to explore opportunities in CPEC to promote inclusive development.
"The Summit and Expo will also help to create strong links between academia and industry for collaborative research in areas relating of CPEC. It will bring opportunities for Pakistani investors and will enable them to develop collaboration with Chinese enterprises, besides creating awareness about CPEC among private sector of Pakistan," said the minister.
Addressing the audience at the jam-packed hall of the China-Pakistan Friendship Center, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong said China-Pakistan relations have now entered into a new phase of development, the phase with a lot of opportunities and that the CPEC is a project of livelihood, which has already created tens of thousands of job opportunities for Pakistani people.
Terming CPEC as the leader and pilot project of China's Belt and Road initiative, Ambassador Sun said "CPEC has now entered into fully implementation and it is making smooth progress. Chinese gov't encourages its qualified and confident enterprises to make investment in Pakistan and explore opportunities of industrial cooperation, technological research and development."
During the two-day summit, the participants will feature in eight sessions of discussions under different topics, including Sharing the fruits of regional development, China-Pakistan CEOs Forum, CPEC 2013-2030 Business Opportunities for Pakistan and China, opportunities for Pakistan's businesses under CEPC projects, business opportunities in energy and connectivity infrastructure, CPEC and the sub-regional socio-economic development in Pakistan, rejuvenating old and creating new cities as centers of growth under CPEC, and business opportunities in trade & industry under CPEC.