|ISLAMABAD, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday told world leading investors here that the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a key regional initiative for connectivity and shared prosperity of nations.
Addressing a gathering of corporate and business leaders from around the world in Islamabad, Sharif said CPEC is in partnership with China as a part of China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.
“Under CPEC, a portfolio of over 55 billion U.S. dollars is already being implemented. Investment of more than 35 billion dollars in the energy sector is being implemented. Apart from energy, road and rail infrastructure, industrial parks and economic zones and a deep sea port at Gwadar give CPEC the potential of changing the destiny of people in the region and beyond,” Sharif said.
The prime minister said the corridor will substantially shorten transportation distances between Africa and Middle East to Central and South Asian regions.
“CPEC would connect the port of Gwadar to Kashghar. It will not only connect Pakistan to China but also provide connectivity to Central Asia,” he further said.
Talking about Pakistan’s economy, he said international economic agencies are upgrading ratings for the financial and economic stability of the country.
“Standard & Poor (S&P) has upgraded its forecast of average annual GDP growth from 4.7 percent to 5 percent. World Bank forecasts a GDP growth of 5.2 percent for 2016-17. S&P also expects Pakistan’s debt to fall below 60 percent of GDP by 2018. It has upgraded Pakistan’s long-term credit rating to B with a stable outlook,” Sharif said.
He invited the foreign investors and businessmen to take benefit from the economic revival of Pakistan and enjoy the first mover’s advantage. Pakistan is ready to do business with the world, he said.