Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said Pakistan could take its economic growth to 9 percent mark by ensuring successful accomplishment of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and enhancing regional connectivity through roads and sea.
Addressing the International Maritime Symposium held by Institute of Maritime Affairs, he said currently Pakistan’s economic growth stood at 6 percent but it could be increased remarkably by ensuring the proper utilization of access to the sea.
The event was attended by AJK President Sardar Masood Khan, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Rector Bahria University Vice Admiral Muhmmad Shafiq, National Security Adviser Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua and DG Institute of Maritime Affairs Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan.
The prime minister said though the aviation sector looked to be more glamorous, 80 percent of global trade was still carried out by sea.
He said holding of such events in today’s world was critical when Pakistan was developing CPEC and China had initiated Belt and Road Initiative.
He said the maritime was critical to every country and Pakistan had proved tradition in Pakistan Navy and Merchant Navy and even today, many Pakistanis were playing their role in merchant navy.
The prime minister believed that providing access to sea was critical for better regional connectivity.
He said the Indian Ocean Region was important hub of global energy flow and trade as large energy flew through this region. He said it was a great opportunity to exploit trade volume in the region.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the resolution of Afghan issue was vital to ensure the access of Central Asian States to Gwadar through Afghanistan.
He said the central Asian states were interested to be part of CPEC to benefit the Gwadar Port. He said Pakistan had currently been developing 1,700 kilometers long motorways network and other 1,200 kilometers secondary roads particularly in Balochistan.
Such projects, he said would provide synergy to Gwadar Port. Pakistan needed to work with China to ensure execution of President Xi Jinping’s vision for connectivity and financial integration.
The prime minister called for hard work as the country had the great opportunity to ensure not only its own growth but also the whole region.