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CPEC a strategic partnership between Pakistan and China: PM Imran

BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has transformed into a strategic partnership between Pakistan and China and encompasses various areas of cooperation.

Addressing Pakistan and China Investment Forum in Beijing, the prime minister said CPEC, which was earlier considered a network of roads and a few power projects, has blossomed into various areas of cooperation. One area of this cooperation, he said, is agriculture which is the backbone of Pakistan.

“China’s help in seed and agriculture development will help increase our agricultural productivity manifold. It will also increase growth trajectory in order to improve the lifestyle of our people,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran said in today’s meetings with the Chinese president and premier, China’s assistance in science and technology to Pakistan were discussed, among other matters.

The premier, who is on his second official visit to China where he attended the second Belt and Road Forum, noted that a concern among all the participating countries centered on climate change and how to mitigate its adverse impacts. He said Pakistan is among the countries that have taken revolutionary steps to combat climate change, with the plantation of a billion trees among those measures.

He said peace in Afghanistan would help increase connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asia and the wider region. Noting that there is a prospect of peace in Afghanistan after many years, he said Pakistan was playing its part in bringing the Taliban and Afghan government representatives to the table to resolve the decades-old conflict.

Regarding India, Prime Minister Imran said Pakistan was hoping that the elections in the neighboring country would be over soon and there would be no incentive for Indian politicians to get votes based on anti-Pakistan sentiment.

He said his country wants to build a civilised relationship with its eastern neighbour and there was a possibility that if the Kashmir issue was resolved through dialogue then things could improve.

Prime Minister Imran invited Chinese businesspersons to visit Pakistan and explore the investment opportunities in various sectors. He said his government was providing incentives to the Chinese investors and also improving ease of doing business in the country.

Pakistan has become a secure country thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of its security forces and intelligence agencies, he added.

Prime Minister Imran, along with the delegation from Pakistan, called on Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing earlier today.

Delegation-level talks were held between the two sides during the meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

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