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CPEC second phase instrumental in achieving SDGs: govt

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha has stated that the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be instrumental in achieving the SDGs.

Speaking at the launch of a report titled, “All Pakistan Chinese Enterprise Association (APCEA) Sustainable Development Report 2022”, she said that it would also supplement Pakistan’s socioeconomic development.

The minister added that as the infrastructure phase has been completed to fill the gaps, now important thing for Pakistan is the Phase-II, as well as, the joint venture for investment in Pakistan for employment generation, exportable surpluses as well enhancement of exports and thereby, increase in GDP of the country which would help achieve SDGs. She added that SDGs are to lower poverty, better quality of work, as well as, better environment through an increase in income.

She further stated that the CPEC projects have unleashed opportunities for socioeconomic development for the people of Pakistan. The minister further remarked that the support of China is essential for Pakistan’s economic stability. The role of China has been pivotal through projects such as the CPEC. Pakistan needs foreign direct investment for stability.

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Speakers also highlighted that the CPEC is one significant strategic imperative that has received attention both in Pakistan and around the world. The project’s continuing second phase has shifted its emphasis to the Pakistani education industry, economics, infrastructure, and sustainability including the opening of technical education institutions and the initiation and expansion of student exchange programs.

Wang Jie, Executive Vice Chairman APCEA and CEO Bank of China Limited Pakistan Operations, in his welcome address, emphasised the importance of realising the importance of sustainable development and taking all possible corrective actions. He added that the APCEA Sustainable Development Report 2022 briefly summarises the sustainable development achievements of Chinese enterprises in the year 2022.

He expressed the APCEA’s beliefs about the terms “sustainability” and “sustainable development” which go beyond generating renewable energy. He stated that Chinese enterprises practice sustainable development in all aspects, to support Pak-China relations. Consequently, their guiding principle is the fulfilment of corporate social responsibility (CSR), including reliability, technological advancement, the welfare of the local community and developing their talents.

Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs convener Romina Khurshid stated that in Phase-II of the CPEC, there is a need to prioritise the construction of new schools, technical and vocational training facilities, and higher education institutions while also renovating the existing ones.

She added that the role of CPEC towards the sustainable development goals especially SDGs 7 clean energy, 8 decent work and economic growth, 11 sustainable cities and communities, 13 protect the planet, and 17 partnership for goals.

Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in his remarks stated that economic development in the region is a priority for Pakistan despite various challenges. Completion of the CPEC projects will lead to enhanced connectivity and socioeconomic development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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