LAHORE, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that Pakistan would be among 25 major economies of the world by 2025.
Whole addressing a function, organised by the International Marketing Congress at a local hotel, he said that by year 2030, Pakistan would be among top 20 economies.
The minister said that in the 21st century, Asia has an eminent role to play in the global economy, as it will become the engine of growth with over 50 per cent contribution to world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Ahsan Iqbal said that Europe is a big market for Asian economy, as it could get optimum benefit from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, adding that geographically Pakistan is very important in CPEC and it is going to become the engine of growth for three billion population of the region.
The minister said that CPEC was a reality that is equally beneficial for Pakistan and China. He asserted that China’s vision is ‘One Belt-One Road’, while Pakistan is focused to get full advantage by utilising all land and sea routes under its Vision 2025. In near future, Pakistan would become a hub of trade and commerce activities of the entire region.
With the Gwadar Port becoming operational, he said that the construction of airport, establishment of free industrial zones and other developmental works would be completed, and Gwadar would become a leading small port city in the world within the next 20 years.
In 2013, when the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) came into power, he added, Pakistan was facing serious energy crisis and the government prioritised the energy sector and immediately initiated long-, medium- and short-term projects by exploiting all resources i.e. water, coal, gas, solar, wind, alternative and bio-gas etc. These projects have now started generating electricity and reducing load-shedding duration, he said and added that no country could make progress without having adequate energy infrastructure to cater to its industrial needs.
The PML-N government, he said, also focused on infrastructural development which is prerequisite to progress and prosperity, asserting that rail and road connectivity is being improved. He said that rail track is being upgraded from Landi Kotal to Karachi and within the next few years, train would attain 180-kilometre per hour speed on this track. Fibre optic cable is also being laid from China to Pakistan for data connectivity and it would connect Pakistan with the fastest internet communication system, he added.
Under industrial development, Ahsan Iqbal said that nine industrial zones would be established in all the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan, which will create millions of job opportunities.