CPEC Parliamentary Committee, KP Board of Investment and Trade (KPBIT) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Pakistan organized a dialogue on November 13, 2020 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar, under the Theme: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regional Dialogue on “The Role of Parliament on Enhancing Investment, Trade and people to people Exchange under CPEC. The conference started with the recitation from the Holy Quran. Hasan Daud Butt, CEO, KPBIT delivered introductory remarks and discussed the development of different CPEC projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The honorable Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mehmood Khan in his speech spoke about Rashakai Special Economic Zone; different CPEC projects related to trade, investment and tourism and furthermore highlighted the efforts made by the provincial government to make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a business hub. The chief minister elaborated that due to the efforts of the provincial government, three mega projects of motorways and two projects of energy have been included in CPEC portfolio. The CPEC mega project once completed would not only bring thousands acres of barren land under cultivation but would also be instrumental towards green revolution in the region. Efforts were on to include other important projects in the CPEC. The construction of mega road projects like Swat Motorway Phase-II, DI Khan Motorway and Dir Expressway would be ensured at all costs, once completed, these projects would connect different parts of province, he said.
Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan who presided over the inaugural session of the dialogue also addressed the conference and termed the CPEC as a game-changer project for the province. He urged upon the politicians, elected public representatives and bureaucracy to play their vital role to get the maximum benefits of this golden opportunity and put this province on the track of prosperity and development. He said that timely completion of CPEC related projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) would open new avenues of prosperity and economic stability all over the country. He invited Afghanistan to participate in CPEC projects, due to which, Peshawar will be able to get access to Central Asian Countries. In order to promote business activities in the long run connectivity of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries is indispensible.
Arbab Sher Ali, Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on CPEC in his speech highlight the significance of CPEC for the economic development of Pakistan and the role of people`s representatives in enhancing trade, investment and people to people contacts. After the inaugural session the dialogue was divided into three sessions in different halls which started at the same time. One session was about trade, the other dealt with investment and the third session was focused on tourism. The session on investment was presided over by Mr Abdul Karim Tordher, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Industries and Commerce. He discussed in details the measures adopted by the provincial government for industrialization of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Javed Iqbal Khattak, CEO, KPEZDMC in his speech highlighted the steps taken to materialize different special economic zones in KP under CPEC especially RSEZ.
Prof Dr Zahid Anwar, Director, China Study Center, University of Peshawar in his speech said that in a democratic parliament decisions are taken for the welfare of its people. This dialogue organized by CPEC parliamentary Committee is a true service to people and worth appreciation. South and Central Asian Regions require economic integration for prosperity and without an iota of doubt BRI and CPEC will economically integrate China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian States. Better coordination between federal and provincial governments and business community will galvanize speedy completion of Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ), Hattar SEZ, Mohmand Marble City, Peshawar to Kabul Motorway and other such CPEC projects. He further stated that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have suffered a lot in the war against terrorism and they deserve, particularly its young people to be given opportunities to get higher education under CPEC and utilize their potential for the development of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan.
Minister for Finance, Taimur Jhagra, MNA Ms Mehnaz Akbar, Advisor to CM for Energy & Power, Mr Himayatullah Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Mr Shakeel Qadir, Afghan Consul General, Najib Ullah Ahmedzai and Country Director Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Pakistan, Dr Jochen Hippler also addressed the Dialogue and shed light on investment, trade and people-to-people exchange under CPEC.
Prof Dr Zahid Anwar
Director,China Study Center
University of Peshawar, PAKISTAN