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Remarks at the Seminar on China Pakistan Economic Corridor By Zhao Lijian, Chargé d'Affaires ad Interim of China

(21 July 2017, Islamabad)

H.E. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms,

H.E. Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary for Planning, Development & Reforms,

Mr. Rozi Khan Burki, Member, FBR

Ms. Rubina Wasti, Director General, Directorate General of Training and Research (Customs),

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good morning. Aslam Alegum.

It is my pleasure to attend the Seminar on China Pakistan Economic Corridor hosted by Organized by Directorate of Training & Research (Customs). On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to Minister Ahsan Iqbal and all the friends for their sustained commitment and significant contribution to promote China Pakistan long standing friendship and the CPEC.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to the joint efforts of China and Pakistan, our relations of all-weather strategic partnership are developing by leaps and bounds. Over the 66 years, our friendship has withstood the test of time and become good example of nation to nation relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic state visit to Pakistan in 2015 has opened a new chapter of our bilateral relations. As one of the most important outcome of his visit, CPEC has progressed rapidly and been highlighted as the flagship projects of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Recently, the discussion on Belt and Road Initiative has become a world phenomenon. Why is it so popular? Firstly, it is one of the most important public goods that China offered to the world. Secondly, it is an initiative that belongs to the world. Thirdly, it carries the virtue of peaceful cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefit and win-win spirit. This is the great spirit of ancient Silk Road. Today, we are building the Belt and Road Initiative under the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits so as to make this spirit shine again.

From China’s perspective, the success of this Initiative must focus on policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.

In these five elements, I think the importance of policy coordination must not be undervalued. Countries along the Belt and Road are in different development stages and economic levels with diverse polities, cultural identities and regulation systems.

Comparing with infrastructure connectivity, policy coordination such as deepening common understanding, enhancing mutual political trust, customs policy cooperative mechanisms will produce a vital and multiplying effect on cross border cooperation. Just like a train can not run in different track gauge, policy coordination, above all, is an important basis for country to country cooperation to realize inclusive and sustainable development.

In this regard, Ministry for Planning, Development & Reforms, NDRC, the FBR and other line ministries of the two countries have an important role to play in policy coordination and harmonization at the government to government level and government to enterprise level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now, after four years of hard work and joint efforts from both countries, 19 CPEC early-harvest projects are either completed or under smooth construction, with a total contract amount of 18.5 billion USD investment landed. CPEC has come into the stage of early harvest. The Sahiwal Coal Power project is completed in only 22 months, which made new record as Pakistan Speed and will add 1320 megawatt of electricity to the national grid of Pakistan. The Port Qasim Coal-fired plant will be completed within this year. The three new quay cranes had stood on the Gwadar Port which will greatly activate cargo handling capacity of the port. The construction of the free zone in Gwadar is also moving forward. The CPEC long term plan will be finalized within this year, which will set the overall direction and focus area for CPEC in a concise and refined manner. There are more encouraging outcomes to be achieved in the near future. All the achievements are due to both sides’ hard work and enterprise friendly business environment forged by the MPDR and FBR.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The CPEC is an unprecedented undertaking in the history of China-Pakistan relations. Its success requires pioneering spirit, courage for struggle and perseverance. As a Chinese saying goes, “Alone, we go faster; together, we go further.” The further promotion of CPEC cannot be separated from the favorable policies by the two countries, and revenue environment. I would like to thank the the MPDR and FBR for providing an investment-friendly environment, in particular for issuing the Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) fro Gwadar free zone and providing an investment-friendly environment. I am convinced that, with the strong political ties and all-weather friendship between our 2 countries, China-Pakistan cooperation and the CPEC will embrace a better future for the benefits of the peoples of the region.

May I wish the Seminar on China Pakistan Economic Corridor a full success.

Long live China-Pakistan friendship.


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