Thursday, November 30, 2023

Chinese investment to prove stimulant for Pakistan’s economic growth: Caretaker PM Kakar

Chinese investment to prove stimulant for Pakistan’s economic growth: Caretaker PM Kakar
October 23, 2023 Web Desk

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday said that the Chinese investment expected under the newly signed 20 MoUs would prove to be a stimulant for Pakistan’s economic growth.

The prime minister, along with a high-level delegation visited China from October 16-20, mainly to attend the Belt and Road Forum where he also held bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, and the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

During the visit, the two sides signed 20 agreements and MoUs, covering cooperation on the BRI, infrastructure, mining, industry, green and low-carbon development, health, space cooperation, digital economy, development cooperation and export of agricultural products to China.

Apprising the media men at a press conference here about his recent visit to China, the prime minister said: "The signing of 20 MoUs was very encouraging. This is after a long that the MoUs in such a huge number were signed with China… We have brought along three guiding principles of coordination, cooperation and consultation with us.”

He said the MoUs were yet in the planning stage and the assessment of the potential, market needs and impact on exports would precede the execution.

Mentioning his interaction with the Chinese business leaders, he said under the second phase of the CPEC, the Chinese private business entities would invest in Pakistan’s agriculture, mining and other sectors. He told the newsmen that Pakistani leadership’s 'constructive' engagement with Chinese counterparts was well received by the Chinese people, media and think tanks.

Emphasizing the consistency of relations with China, he expressed the hope that the upcoming government would carry forward the momentum as any deviation from the commitments put the state’s dignity at stake. He said the address by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Forum was in fact an answer to all the challenges confronting China, the region as well as the whole world.

He said that the land, sea and aerial connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative would not only bring the regions closer but also create opportunities for the people. During the visit, the prime minister also met with presidents of Russia, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

In their meeting, the Kenyan president told him that a lot of investigation had been done into the killing of Pakistani news anchor Arshad Sharif and assured him of working in coordination with the Pakistani authorities. The prime minister pointed out the minimal linkage between the Pakistani and Chinese media, despite the fact that there existed immense opportunities for both private and state-run media for story-telling, documentaries and other media content.

Coming to the issue of Gaza, Prime Minister Kakar told the media that humanitarian aid had landed in Egypt for its onward dispersal to the suffering Palestinian people. "However, the foremost priority was the cessation of hostilities for which Pakistan was making collaborative efforts as the country had also co-hosted an OIC ministerial meeting in Jeddah on the issue."

To a question about the elections, he said the final date for voting would be announced soon and that the caretaker government was trying its utmost to facilitate the electoral process. He said no major political party was out of the political process unless anyone was legally barred.

About the return of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Kakar said that he was a political reality and his adversaries should face him in politics. About the economic situation, he said for the first time in the country’s history, the dollar rate had meaningfully reduced and that he would hold a follow-up meeting with provincial chief secretaries later in the day to ensure the trickle-down effect on the common man in form of commodities’ prices and transport fares.

To another query, the prime minister said the existing business model of print media was flawed and would collapse. The print media entities should realign their business approach to thrive the private business instead of relying on the state.