CPEC to bring about prosperity in country: CM

Islamabad: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring about prosperity and development in country.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of 2-day International Conference regarding the CPEC held at Government College University here on Wednesday, he said all-out efforts would be utilized for success of the projects under the CPEC.

He said the CPEC was a gift of Chinese leadership and people for the people of Pakistan which could never be neglected and it was reflection of an immortal friendship of the both countries.

The chief minister said 36 billion dollars out of total 46 billion dollars investment would be spent on the energy projects which would eliminate darkness of the country.

He said the CPEC strengthened the already unique Pak-China friendship.

He said the investment of 46 billion dollars under the CPEC would strengthen economy of the country and it would restore its respectful position among the nations.

He said it was an honour for him to participate in such an important conference and appreciated the Vice Chancellor of the University and his team for organising the international conference.

The CM also lauded the step of setting up the Centre of Excellence China Study at the university and said the faculty was playing a vital role in awareness of Chinese language for Pakistani students, adding that such centres would also be made in other educational institutions so that the youth could learn chinese language.

” Chinese teaching institutes will also be set up in other provinces as well,” he added.

“The Punjab government is fully cooperating for the building of such institutes which is its responsibility,” he said.

“We will have to strengthen process of industrialization in the country for the development by fighting all current challenges,” he added.

He said targets of development and prosperity could not be achieved without overcoming the crisis of energy, therefore, the Punjab government had started the work on the energy sector.

He vowed that 6,000 to 7,000 of megawatts would be added in the national grid through these projects in 2017-18 which would be helpful to reduce the energy crisis.

The Punjab Chief Minister said that projects under the CPEC would change the lives of common man and Pakistan would become a prosperous country.

He said that China was a time tested friend of Pakistan, it always supported Pakistan in the UNO and now it had given a historical package to change lives of the common people.

He said no change had been made in the basic design of the CPEC, however some improvements could be made with the consent of China and other stakeholder.

Shehbaz said the development in China was like a role model for Pakistan so it could also be developed by taking advantage of the technology of China.

He said 60 percent of population of Pakistan consisted on youth and by empowering the youth the change could be made, adding the Punjab government had started Skill Development Programme to empower the youth under which skilled man power was being prepared according to the international requirements.

He said that his visit to the Britain remained one of the most successful visits and fruitful discussion was held during this visit in several sectors including education and health.

He said that land for Bhasha dam was being acquired and work had been started on Dasu dam.

Earlier, Director Centre of Excellence China Studies Khalid Manzoor Butt in his welcome address narrated aims and objectives of the Centre of Excellence and threw light on the courses being conducted in this centre.

He termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor as game changer and said that importance of Pakistan would enhance in the international community after completion of these projects. He said that unemployment and poverty would be eliminated from the country and trade and economic relations of Pakistan would expand with Middle East, Europe and Africa through this project.

Vice Chancellor Government College University Professor Dr Hassan Amir Shah thanked Chief Minister Punjab on setting up Centre of Excellence China Studies and said that this centre would convert into a think tank in the real sense.

Former Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Akram Sheikh in his key address threw light on the features of CPEC.

He said the Punjab government had taken lead in vocational training for empowering youth and preparing skilled manpower.

He paid tributes to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and said that he was a practical man.

He said that Chief Minister Punjab had also played an important role in enhancing Pak-China relations and the CPEC.

At the end of the function Shehbaz Sharif gave souvenir to Dr Akram Sheikh whereas Vice Chancellor of the university presented a souvenir to the Chief Minister

Provincial Education Minster Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, several national and international observers, professors, teachers and faculty members attended the session. APP