Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday invited Chinese businesses to invest in Pakistan’s solar parks, as the country eyes reducing its energy import bill and meet climate change goals.
“As part of our efforts to promote the green corridor we would like to invest the Chinese companies to invest in solar parks in Pakistan,” said Kakar, during an interaction with representatives of leading Chinese think tanks and scholars.
“Such investments will entail a two-fold benefit; on the one hand, they will support Pakistan’s endeavours towards climate action, and on the other, they would help us to reduce our burgeoning energy import bill,” he said.
The caretaker PM informed that the authorities in Pakistan are already working on ramping up the share of renewables in our energy mix, to as much as 65% by 2030. “Despite challenges, we are confident of reaching this target, including through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) investments in the clean energy sector,” he said.
The caretaker PM emphasised improving connectivity between Pakistan’s Gilgit Baltistan and China’s Xinjiang province.
“Xinjiang’s greater integration into CPEC will strengthen the economic ties between Pakistan and China,” he added.
During his address, caretaker PM termed the CPEC “a manifestation of Pakistan, China strategic cooperation”.
“The time is right in identifying the success, and reviewing the lessons learnt while charting out a map for the next phase of the project,” he said.
“There should be no doubt that Pakistan will not allow anything to undermine our unique affinity and affection for China. Thanks to CPEC, the socioeconomic landscape of Pakistan has been transformed in the last ten years,” he said.
“CPEC is already proving to be a catalyst for job creation, poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, giving strength to the vulnerable and the underprivileged and reaching the remote sections of the society,” he said.
“However, CPEC is not just an economic corridor, it is a symbol of China-Pakistan strategic trust. It is also an expression of Pakistan’s determination to achieve progress and a pathway to a bright future.”
The caretaker PM noted that as CPEC continues to unfold, the two countries are poised to unlock unprecedented opportunities that will shape their destiny and contribute to regional prosperity.
“Through CPEC and its extension to Afghanistan and other countries in the region, we are seeking to create new drives of growth that will accrue benefits for the wider region and beyond.
“Both China and Pakistan are determined to make Gwadar a hub for regional connectivity that will facilitate cross-regional trade, including between Central Asia and the Middle East,” he said.
“True to the spirit of shared prosperity, we are open to welcoming new partners who wish to join us in drawing benefits from CPEC,” he said.
He mentioned that since the launch of CPEC during the landmark visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in 2015, the project resulted in the addition of 800 kilometres of roads, and creation of 8,000 mega-watt electricity, and 0.2 million job opportunities.
He expressed confidence that as a project of socio-economic prosperity and sustainable development, CPEC would usher in a new era of development and regional prosperity.
Kakar highlighted that Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng during his visit to Pakistan on 30th July, outlined a comprehensive strategy for the future by proposing five corridors under CPEC namely the corridors of growth, livelihood, green economy, innovation and inclusiveness in openness.
The caretaker PM also shared his government’s vision to alleviate the transformative nature of CPEC to greater heights.
“One the next phase of CPEC should seek a deeper integration of our economies, with a focus on diversification and innovation. We aspire to learn from the Chinese model to build our industrial parks and Special Economic Zones.
The interim prime minister highlighted that back in 2022, the two countries took a vital step forward with the signing of CPEC framework agreement on industrial cooperation.
“We must now fully utilise this framework, as an instrument for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” he said.