Mechanisms established for timely completion of CPEC projects: Ambassador Hashmi

Beijing, April 19, 2020: Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi has said that a number of mechanisms had been established to complete all projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) within the prescribed time frame in order to achieve the desired goals.

“This is a transformative project that, through a radical overhaul of Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure, has laid a solid foundation for our future socio-economic development and has produced tangible results on the ground,” she said in an interview.

Ambassador Hashmi remarked that the CPEC was the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping and had played an important role in the development agenda of the present government in Pakistan.

During the high-level exchanges between the leaders of Pakistan and China, the two sides agreed that the focus of the second phase of the CPEC was to complete all projects under construction in a timely manner and continue to realize their full potential for socio-economic development, job creation, improvement of people’s livelihood, accelerated industrial development, industrial parks and cooperation in the agricultural fields, she said.

“We are confident that all projects in the CPEC will be completed in a timely manner to achieve the desired goals and set a new example for international cooperation based on common interests, common goals and common future,” she said.

About Gwadar, she said that as an important node of the CPEC, it was receiving increasing attention because of its trade potential. The two countries had completed a series of projects in Gwadar, including port construction, electricity projects, hospitals, educational institutions and clean and green development in neighbouring areas, while many others are at different stages of completion.

Ambassador Hashmi said that both countries were currently working on a series of projects aimed at improving the socio-economic status of the Pakistani people.

The successful conclusion of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) opened a new window for the doubling of bilateral trade volume between the all-weather friends and strategic cooperative partners.

“We should deepen practical cooperation in agriculture, forestry, poverty alleviation, tourism, national governance systems and finance,” she added.

Pakistani government was developing policies to attract the Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in these areas in order to achieve strong, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Ambassador Hashmi said that Pakistan and China were ancient civilizations and had maintained deep cultural, educational and trade ties since ancient times.

“We also hope to deepen people-to-people exchanges and educational exchanges in the new era, continue to enrich the ancient cultural ties and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results,” she added.

On the establishment of sustainable plant pest control and management mechanism, she said that in Pakistan, locust plague had become a serious problem, because at a time when food supplies were important, locust plagues could exacerbate food security problems.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, and locust plagues can pose serious challenges to our economic well-being,” she added.

Ambassador Hashmi said that China had provided Pakistan with comprehensive support and proposals to control the damage caused by locusts. China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent a working group to Pakistan to advise on the matter.

The Chinese experts conducted a survey of the disaster area and presented their research results to experts, which were of great help to effectively control the locust plague.

The two sides also agreed that China would supply Pakistan with 250 tons of pesticides and 36 traction high-efficiency sprayers. The two sides also planned to establish plant pest control centres in Pakistan to respond effectively to similar problems in the future.

“We are deeply grateful to China for its timely assistance and supplies, and look forward to benefiting from China’s expertise and technical equipment, she added.

Ambassador Hashmi hoped that the two countries would work together in the future to establish a sustainable management mechanism for plant pest control.

Responding to a question, she said that Pakistan and China were “all-weather strategic partners”, iron brothers, the most reliable partners and closest neighbours. The two countries had extensive exchanges in political, economic and cultural fields. The unanimous support of the government and the public for the bilateral relations bodes well for the future development of bilateral relations.

“I want to reject the cynical view that Pakistan-China relations are merely the result of convergence of political or economic interests. The fundamental forces that drive these dynamic all-weather relations are mutual respect and understanding, shared experiences of the past, adherence to international norms and values and an irresistible desire to work together for a rules-based, transparent and democratic world order,” she added.

Ambassador Hashmi said that over the past 70 years, both countries had faced the changes of the Cold War; hostile neighborhoods; economic crises and internal political turmoil. “But these challenges have brought us closer together and helped us to build a very strong relationship that has never been seen before in the history of modern international relations.”

“We are willing to build on past achievements to further expand the breadth and depth of bilateral relations. We are working to keep our activities in areas of culture and economy in tandem with our excellent political relationships,” she added.

While appreciating China’s remarkable achievements in socio-economic development, poverty alleviation and development, tourism, green development, anti-corruption and promoting integrity, she said, “We are willing to learn from China.”

Ambassador Hashmi said that the year 2021 would be a special moment, and both the countries would celebrate those achievements and reaffirm their determination to build on them.

“I look forward to a stronger, more inclusive and inclusive relationship between our two countries in the future that not only serves the best interests of our two countries, but will also ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region as a whole,” she added.

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