ISLAMABAD, Jul 31 (APP): A special ceremony was held here on Monday to celebrate the completion of the first decade of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
High-level leadership attended the event from Pakistan and China, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, and the Vice Premier of the State Council of China He Lifeng.
Senior ministers of China and Pakistan, high-ranking officials from both countries and corporate executives of leading Chinese companies working in Pakistan also participated in the event.
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Vice Premier He Lifeng paid rich tribute to CPEC for its positive contribution to Pakistan’s socio-economic development, and progress and prosperity of the peoples of the two countries.
They underscored that as the flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, CPEC had transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape by removing infrastructure bottlenecks and eliminating power shortages.
Expressing satisfaction at the remarkable achievements of CPEC, both leaders expressed their firm resolve to build upon the achievements of the last decade, and continue their cooperation for further developing it as a high-quality demonstrable project of the BRI.
The leadership of Pakistan and China also appreciated the endeavours of Pakistani and Chinese experts, engineers and workers for their meritorious contribution to the timely completion of all CPEC projects in Pakistan.
On the occasion, Vice Premier He Lifeng also read a special message of President Xi Jinping, congratulating the government and the people of Pakistan on the completion of the first decade of CPEC.
To mark the significance of the occasion, a special Postal Stamp, Commemorative Coin and First Day Cover, were also issued. Both sides also unveiled a First Decade of CPEC memento capturing its achievements made and futuristic vision.
During the event, special performances were organized to display multiple facets of Pakistan’s pluralistic and progressive culture; and to highlight civilizational affinity and fraternal ties between Pakistan and China.
It may be recalled that Pakistan and China had kicked off CPEC projects in 2013, after the visit of the Chinese Premier to Pakistan. Under the rubric of CPEC, the two countries initiated and completed multiple projects in the past ten years in the energy sector, transport infrastructure, port/airport development and digital connectivity.
CPEC brought huge dividends to Pakistan as manifested in the creation of over 200,000 jobs; addition of 8000 MW power to the national grid; building of 510 kilometers of highways and 932 kilometers of roads network; and laying of 820-kilometer long optical fiber line.
Under Phase-II of CPEC, both countries have expanded cooperation to new areas, including rural revitalization; agricultural development; industrialization; green development; and science and technology.