ISLAMABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has given many dividends and benefits to Pakistan, especially the much-needed foreign direct investment to overcome its energy crisis, Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said.
"From energy-deficient to energy self-reliant country, the transition would not have been possible without the CPEC investment," the minister said while addressing a seminar titled "CPEC: A Catalyst for the Economic Development of Pakistan" organized by the China Pakistan Study Centre at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad here on Wednesday.
Prior to CPEC, Iqbal said the two bottlenecks that Pakistan faced were the energy-power crisis and infrastructure fragility.
These two major bottlenecks were to a larger extent cleared by the first phase of CPEC and a shift to industrialization had begun in the country, said the minister. He said that there was an acute power crisis in the country as without energy a country could not develop a modern economy, adding that for a modern economy energy is equivalent to oxygen to human life. "China gave Pakistan energy projects which then became a game changer for Pakistan in overcoming the energy crisis," Iqbal added. CPEC has also provided Pakistan the critical strategic investment to modernize its infrastructure, particularly some of the road infrastructure projects, said the minister.