The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a win-win project for both Pakistan and China; and is a reflection of the strong relationship between the two friendly countries, Sardar Masood Khan, the president of Azad Jammu & Kashmir State said in Kotli, AJK.
The AJK president made these remarks while addressing a seminar titled “CPEC and Azad Jammu Kashmir” organised by the University of Kotli on Monday. The event was the part of a series of seminars to be held at public-sector universities of AJK to highlight the opportunities and the challenges of the CPEC.
Sardar said that Kotli University has taken a positive initiative in arranging the seminar on CPEC, and would act as a catalyst for further research. The president said that CPEC was not a stand-alone project but is, in fact, a part of the One Belt and One Road Initiative. He said that almost 65 countries including Pakistan are part of BRI which was aimed at global economic connectivity across the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.
Highlighting the prospects of CPEC, he said that the project was not to be considered as a substitute for Pakistan’s overall economic progress but rather a huge catalyst helping evolve and develop the national economy. Pakistan, he said, was an emerging economy, well on its way to becoming one of the leading economies in the next three decades.
Underscoring the importance of geopolitical stability through enhancing economic and commercial activities, Masood said that CPEC and the BRI were initiatives structured around inclusiveness which would be instrumental for connectivity, productivity and promoting conducive circumstances for prosperity and building peaceful neighbourhoods.
He said that under the CPEC project, Pakistan and China would in the medium-to-long run explore and expand the cooperation fields to financial services, science and technology, tourism, education, poverty elimination and city planning, to meet the demands of deepening and promoting substantive cooperation between the two countries. He also brushed aside all the apprehensions connected to CPEC being China’s plan for colonisation.
The president said that Azad Kashmir had been included as a key region for CPEC with multiple projects for highway linkages, energy generation and establishing an industrial estate would help revive local economy making it into an ideal location for business and tourism activity.
The AJK president said that with the formal inclusion of Azad Kashmir in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, four projects had exclusively been earmarked for the region which includes Karot (720 MW), Kohala (1124 MW) Hydro-power projects, Special Industrial Zone in Mirpur and the Mansehra-Mirpur Expressway.
He said that CPEC would generate thousands of new jobs in specialised fields like logistics, supply chain management, hydraulics, artificial intelligence and other post-modern subjects. He urged the students to understand and adapt to the upcoming challenges, especially in the ever-changing job market.
CPEC’s projects in AJK, he said, would also help promote national and international investors to the region. He said that an economic revolution is unfolding in Azad Kashmir, led by the present government’s transformative initiatives towards building new roads, energy production, health, industry, agriculture, promotion of tourism and telecommunications.
The president stressed a need to address the potential prospects of CPEC by adapting to the change and increasing our absorptive capacity. He said it could be achieved by the efficient and equitable allocation of resources by heavily investing in human and organisational development. He added, “We must innovate and strive for technological advancements in order to fully exploit the opportunities that CPEC will bring to the region.”
The seminar was attended by eminent figures including a large number of researchers, scholars, faculty member and students from various departments of the university. After the event, the president also inaugurated the newly built Administration Block at the university campus.
News Source: The Nation