Pakistan welcomes British investment in CPEC

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that the government would welcome British investment in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Addressing a forum on CPEC in Islamabad, he said that matters pertaining to CPEC had been discussed in his meeting with his British counterpart.

The foreign minister said that the CPEC is flagship project of the Belt and Road project which is a sprawling concept of trade and connectivity, adding that the Chinese projects are of commercial and public oriented.

Qureshi went on to say that the think tanks of both China and Pakistan are working together for the success of the CPEC, adding that the government is fully committed to the completion of all China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and initiatives on time.

“First phase of CPEC focused on infrastructure development and energy generation while in second phase industrial cooperation and socio economic development are our highest priorities,” he said and added we have set up special economic zones that will help meet these objectives. He said cooperation in agriculture between the two countries is increasing at a fast pace.

The minister said leadership on both sides is clear that CPEC is a game changer and holds immense opportunities for the benefit of people, adding that the CPEC will benefit all marginalized areas of Pakistan, especially Balochistan.

He further said cooperation in science and technology with China is also important. He said CPEC is the beginning of a new dawn that will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity. He said people to people contacts between Pakistan and China are increasing by CPEC.

Qureshi said the world is now looking towards East, including Pakistan. He said new partnerships are emerging in the region and in this context Pakistan is interested in the investment of other countries in CPEC too. The minister said during his recent visit to the UK, he also talked about CPEC and the government will welcome British investment in this important project.

Earlier, Pakistan and the United Kingdom had reaffirmed commitment to take bilateral relationship forward and work for shared prosperity. The commitment was made at fourth review of Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue in London.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi led the Pakistani side while the British delegation was headed by their Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The two sides agreed to continue building upon the cooperation within the framework of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue to take this partnership forward.

They agreed to work together to facilitate business to business contacts, explore niche areas for investment, improve the business climate and raise awareness about market opportunities in Pakistan.

The British Foreign Secretary announced the UK Department for International Trade s decision to double the available support for exports to Pakistan from up to 400 million pounds to one billion pounds as part of the growing cooperation in economic terms between the two countries.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their continuing cooperation in security and counter terrorism measures in accordance with the National Action Plan.