CPEC projects dividends aim at promoting connectivity across countries: HC

Web DeskWeb Editor

09th Jul, 2021. 02:29 pm
CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: High Commissioner of Pakistan in Singapore Rukhsana Afzaal has said that the dividends brought in by the wide array of energy and infrastructure initiatives under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are aimed at promoting connectivity across Asia, Europe and Africa.

This she said during a webinar on “Investment Opportunities in CPEC-related Special Economic Zones (SEZs)”, organised by the Pakistan High Commission, in collaboration with the Embassy of China, a statement received here from Singapore said.

The webinar was envisaged in the context of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China. It brought to light the transformative potential of CPEC as the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), particularly highlighting the opportunities for foreign investors.

A broad spectrum of audience ranging from business chambers, infrastructure companies in Singapore and China, think-tanks and diplomatic missions based in Singapore attended the webinar.

Zhang Xumin, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of China, Singapore, further underscored the importance the project holds for the two countries.

In their keynote addresses, CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and Ying Xiong, director-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, emphasised the significance of the high demonstration project for the region, in general, and for the bilateral ties between the two countries, in particular.

Bajwa highlighted that 37 SEZs were planned under CPEC, of which nine were prioritised and four had been fast tracked. The groundbreaking ceremony of Gwadar Free Zone by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week was an important milestone; whereby 2,220 acres of land was allocated for the development projects as part of CPEC, he added.

A vibrant panel discussion was also held, which was participated by Faraz Zaidi, director-general (China), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad; Du Zhenli, director general, China International Engineering and Consulting Cooperation (CIECC), Fareena Mazhar, secretary of the Board of Investment, Islamabad; Kho Choon Keng, vice president of the Singapore-China Business Association; Farhan Talib, regional general manager (China and Singapore), Habib Bank Ltd; and, Chen Wei Hao, vice chairman of the Belt and Road Committee, China Enterprises Association (Singapore), followed.

The panellists highlighted the investment potential of CPEC projects for foreign investors, particularly in the SEZs, emphasising the presence of Chinese companies such as Century Steel and Power China, who have already started their operations in Pakistan.

They also dilated upon the opportunities offered by SEZs for Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-based infrastructure community. The role of the financial institutions in CPEC was also highlighted.

A lively Q&A session ensued the panel discussions that further enlightened the audience on the promising investment opportunities offered under CPEC, SEZs framework.

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