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Pakistan-China project beneficial for UAE, says Pakistani ambassador

“Pakistan will be pleased if the UAE can benefit from the project, as this is a win-win situation for all countries in the region,” said Ambassador Moazzam Ahmed Khan.

The Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE has spoken about how both countries can benefit from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road multi-billion dollar initiative, and also part of Pakistan’s Vision 2025.

“Pakistan will be pleased if the UAE can benefit from the project, as this is a win-win situation for all countries in the region,” said Ambassador Moazzam Ahmed Khan.

 In an interview with Wam at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the ambassador said Pakistan and China are working on huge projects on infrastructure, roads and railway networks. Most importantly, both countries are also investing in the energy sector.

Describing this as an ideal investment opportunity for Emirati investors, Khan noted that the UAE is the second largest GCC trade partner of Pakistan, with a trade surplus of $5b. Moreover, Pakistani nationals send $4.5 billion in remittances each year from the UAE to their home country.

“The UAE is already one of the main investment partners in Pakistan. In fact, according to some estimates, it is the third largest investor,” the ambassador said. “So there will be huge opportunities coming from this project, for all countries of the region.”

In the last few years, UAE companies have invested billions of dollars in all major sectors, particularly banking, infrastructure and communications. These sectors, the ambassador said, provide ample opportunities for further investment, as Pakistan’s fast-expanding economy expects to achieve 5.5 per cent GDP growth this year.  “A lot of developments are now taking place in infrastructure, we also have a huge agricultural, communications, health and banking sectors. This is where UAE companies can benefit,” he said.

The people of Pakistan and the UAE have traditionally enjoyed excellent commercial, cultural and fraternal relations, and the UAE is home to 1.5 million Pakistani expatriates.

“It goes beyond just economic interaction. It has many facets, including close defence and security cooperation. Most important, there is the common interest of establishing peace, prosperity and stability in this region,” the ambassador said.

The UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme, UAE-PAP, which also runs the polio vaccination drive in Pakistan, provided over 116 million life-saving polio vaccines for Pakistani children aged under five from January 2014 to the end of May 2016 through the Emirates Polio Campaign.

The CPEC project

> The project offers a range of benefits, including reduction in physical distance goods have to travel, thus reducing the carbon footprint

> At present, goods travel nearly 13,000km to reach China, but utilising the CPEC route, the distance is reduced to just 3,000km to Kashgar This will help reduce transportation costs

> The Gwadar Port, at the western end of CPEC, will boost mobility of goods in the region

> Oil exporters to China can maintain strategic reserves in storage within the port (Khaleej Times)

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