Photo taken on November 8, 2020 shows an Orange Line metro train leaving a station in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore(XINHUA)
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong hailed CPEC authority and all Pakistani workers for their outstanding performance in the development of projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his speech at the awarding ceremony for outstanding Pakistani staff of CPEC projects on December 21.
During his speech Mr. Nong Rong said “it is my pleasure to attend the Awarding Ceremony for Outstanding Pakistani Staff of CPEC projects. Due to COVID-19, we have to hold an on-line ceremony this year” Citing the incredible achievements he thanked Mr. Asim Bajwa, Chairman of CPEC Authority for attending the ceremony and gave warm remarks.
Lt Gen (r) Bajwa had expressed CPEC Authority’s commitment to providing a one-stop service for the corridor project in order to further strengthen cooperation in important areas, such as Gwadar Port, infrastructure, industry and agriculture. He also hailed Pakistan staff working in projects under CPEC by saying they working hard to ensure Pakistan’s economic stability.
The Ambassador further said “the 18 outstanding Pakistani staffs attending today’s ceremony are from Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and other fields of the CPEC construction.
They are outstanding representatives of Pakistani staffs in all fields of CPEC cooperation and demonstrate the diversification of China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era”, adding that “on behalf of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan, I would like to extend my warm congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to all those who have won the award for your excellent service. At the same time, I would also like to express my gratitude to all the companies and their staff working on the CPEC projects for their continuous contribution in advancing CPEC cooperation”.
Highlighting the importance of CPEC Mr. Nong said CPEC was an important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative and a demonstration project of China-Pakistan cooperation.
He stressed on deepen cooperation between China- Pakistan at all-weather strategic partnership for the building a closer community of shared future, and the realization of high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
During the past 5 years since President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan, the CPEC has achieved great success and made tremendous contributions to the development of Pakistan and regional connectivity under the joint efforts of the governments, enterprises, and all walks of life from both countries, he added. Based on consensus of both governments, Mr. Nong said Pakistan, China further expand the CEPC cooperation from Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure development and industrial cooperation to new areas of agriculture, science and technology, social economy and international cooperation.
In this year, the CPEC projects have achieved major progress despite the adversity challenge brought by COVID-19 pandemic.
It has supported Pakistan’s drive in the fighting against COVID-19, ensuring economic stability, and well-being of the people. It has also continued to train high-quality talents for the country. Citing power production under CPEC Mr. Wang said China was pleased to see that during the Covid-19, CEPC energy projects have provided one third of power supply across Pakistan. The focus for energy cooperation has been shifted from addressing power shortage to its structural adjustments.
The Mertiari to Lahore HVDC Transmission Line Project has been completed. The Power Purchase Agreements of green and clean energy projects such as Kohala Hydropower and Patan Hydropower have been signed. With the completion of upgrade of KKH Phase-II, the China-Pakistan friendship highway, the transportation network for north-western Pakistan has been improved. In Lahore, the operation of the Orange Line project has brought Pakistan into a metro era. There has been increase of port handling capacity in Gwadar Port.
The transit trade for Afghan goods through Gwadar Port has been officially launched, helped the sustainable supply of daily necessities for people of Pakistan and Afghanistan during COVID-19 period. China and Pakistan further promoted industrial cooperation with the signing of the Development Agreement of Rashakai Economic Zone.
Chinese ambassador further said a number of environment-friendly social economic projects were completed on time such as the expansion work of Faqur School in Gwadar, China-Pakistan Friendship Forest, aid of disaster relief facilities, donation of cold-chain vaccine storage and transportation equipment in a timely manner.
It is fair to say that both sides have overcome the difficulties of the COVID-19 and made new head ways of cooperation in a coordinated way. In this year, there is no stop of the construction, no job cut, no withdrawal of workforce of the CPEC projects.