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CPEC Phase-II is crucial for the sustainable economic growth
  ·  2024-03-14  ·   Source: The Daily Mail, Pakistan

"China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Phase-II is a golden opportunity for the sustainable economic growth of Pakistan," said Professor Ahsan Iqbal after assuming his office as Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives (PD&SI) on March 12. 

Mr. Iqbal was part of the 19-member federal cabinet of the newly elected Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who took the oath of office from President Asif Ali Zardari on March 11. 

Ahsan Iqbal will also oversee CPEC, as the Ministry of PD&SI is responsible for coordinating and overseeing various development projects in the country. The Ministry of PD&SI plays a crucial role in the planning and implementation of CPEC projects. 

Ahsan Iqbal said that they will endeavor to improve infrastructure to facilitate the implementation of "innovative financing mechanisms", given their limited economic capacity, as the majority of the country's budget relies on loans. 

Ahsan Iqbal previously served as Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms from 2013 to 2018, during the period when the foundation of CPEC was laid by the leadership of both countries. He also held the position of Minister for PD&SI during Shahbaz Sharif's coalition government from April 2022 to August 2023. 

Having led the Pakistani side in eight out of 12 meetings of the Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC, Ahsan Iqbal's vision is expected to strongly influence the implementation of Phase II of CPEC and Pakistan's commitment to accelerating the project's progress. 

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