您做在的位置: 中国投资 > 封面故事 > 中巴经济走廊带动巴中务实合作——专访中…

中巴经济走廊带动巴中务实合作——专访中巴经济走廊特使扎法尔(Zafaruddin Mahmood)

“一带一路”倡议一经提出,便引起国内外高度关注,同时在国际上也引发了质疑和争议。但巴基斯坦坚定地认为,以共商、共建、共享为原则“一带一路”倡议终将惠及世界各国

文|本刊记者  周洋   摄影|周洋

中巴经济走廊是“一带一路”倡议框架内合作的典范,两国政府和企业投入大量精力和物力,力求在开放包容的合作中实现互利共赢的目标。

2017年5月14日,举世瞩目的 “一带一路”国际合作高峰论坛的北京举行,巴基斯坦代表表示希望将来在两国的合作中能够有更多的延伸发展。本刊记者就巴中两国合作的现况和将来的发展愿景采访了中巴经济走廊特使扎法尔先生。

 

《中国投资》:首先,请您谈谈,目前中巴经济走廊进展情况?巴基斯坦为何要派驻一位特使。

扎法尔:首先,我先介绍一下中巴经济走廊的背景。

2013年中国总理李克强访问巴基斯坦,提出“一带一路”的想法。李克强总理建议,中国和巴基斯坦友谊深厚,是否应该在“一带一路”的框架下,建立两国之间的务实合作。经过两国领导人多次协商,最终达成共识,建立“中巴经济走廊”。在商定合作意向之后,两国的相关负责人展开了一系列方案制定的工作,包括主要合作领域、合作模式、实施计划等方面的方案制定。最终确定了4个大方向的领域。

第一个合作的领域是能源合作。特别是电力项目的建设。第二个选择合作的领域是基础设施建设。第三个领域是瓜达尔港口的建设和管理。第四个领域是两国产能合作。

基本框架确定至今已有两年,这4个领域工作进展的非常顺利,短短2年多时间,中国在巴基斯坦的投资已经超过250亿美元,这在巴基斯坦70多年历史里前所未有。这也是巴中两国对中巴经济走廊高度重视的成果。同时,因为巴基斯坦认为中巴合作的领域非常广泛,投资规模庞大,所以有必要派专人负责相关的联络工作。

 

《中国投资》:刚刚您提到,自2013年李克强总理访问时就提出中巴经济走廊的合作,但直到2015年才开始正式实施。这两年的时间都做了哪些工作?

扎法尔:因为前期要定一个方向,要制定合作模式和方案,在确定要开展合作中巴经济走廊的时候还经历了巴基斯坦政府的换届,同时还要将这项合作的相关情况向新上任的政府解析情况。再选出重点领域,确定具体合作项目,如何面对将来实施中的融资问题等等一系列前期准备工作。这是一个庞大的计划,所以要有一个前期准备程序。以上这些工作一共花了差不多两年的时间。

 

《中国投资》:2015年,习近平主席访问巴基斯坦时强调,中巴合作以瓜达尔港、能源、交通基础设施、产业合作4个领域为重点。在当前中巴经济走廊框架之下,中国在巴基斯坦实际投资已经超过250亿美元。请您谈谈,目前这4个领域项目进展情况以及未来发展前景。

扎法尔:首先,我想谈谈能源领域。能源分类繁多复杂,比如从电厂的发电途径分类有火力电厂、水力电厂、光伏发电站、风能发电厂。由于光伏发电站和风能发电厂速度比较快,目前部分巴中合作风电及光伏发电项目已经并网发电。目前还有一个火电厂也已投入运行,另外,还有一些电力项目预计到今年年底或明年初也将完工。水电项目的建设时间比较长,现在还处于施工阶段。

5月12日,中国华能山东如意巴基斯坦萨希瓦尔2×660兆瓦燃煤电站项目1号机组并网一次成功,成为中巴经济走廊首台并网发电的燃煤机组。这将会对巴基斯坦的电力缺乏情况带来很大的改善。

其次,巴基斯坦与中国在基础设施建设领域的合作也非常紧密。

喀喇昆仑公路,作为巴基斯坦与中国唯一的陆路通道被誉为中巴友谊公路。2008年8月,由中国援建的公路改扩建项目一期工程正式启动,并于2015年6月竣工。

2016年4月,中巴经济走廊首个重点公路项目喀喇昆仑公路升级改造项目二期(哈维连至塔科特段)开工仪式在巴基斯坦曼塞拉地区举行,项目由中交集团中国路桥公司承建,计划明年完工。

喀喇昆仑公路的建设是一项非常复杂的工程。项目沿着喀喇昆仑公路南下至首都伊斯兰堡附近,最高海拔达4500米,最低海拔(伊斯兰堡)却只有700米,海拔落差非常大。道路虽然不算长,航空距离不到400公里,但是施工难度极高。道路沿线地形复杂,拥有很多河流和山谷,要通过打隧道、搭桥等方式解决。所以修筑的成本会比较高,速度比较慢,最后决定分段分期建设。

同时,卡拉奇-拉合尔高速公路的建设也是中巴经济走廊框架下的重要项目,其中,苏库尔至木尔坦段长约400公里,全线按双向6车道、时速120公里标准设计。由中国中建集团施工,计划明年完工。此条高速公路最终的目标是连接巴基斯坦境内两个最大的城市卡拉奇和拉合尔,将会极大地促进社会经济的发展。

第三,便是瓜达尔港口的建设。目前港口的管理权已交给中方企业,港口经过改造,在水深和设备等方面均有显著改善,现已经定期有中国船舶往来装卸,商业模式已开启运营。与此同时,近期还会就瓜达尔的高速公路建设、城市的整体规划与中方签署合作协议。巴基斯坦政府在瓜达尔宣布了一个自由贸易区,同样交给中国企业经营管理,目前已完成一期招商租赁,自由贸易区最大的投资亮点是其优惠政策——22年免税。目前正在进行的项目有中交集团在区内投建的电厂,已开始施工;中国政府援建的瓜达尔机场,同样计划今年动工;中国临沂投建的大型物流中心,第一期已经完工。瓜达尔的地理位置离中东很近,与伊朗、阿富汗等国家毗邻,再加上22年免税的优惠政策,非常适宜与周边国家发展业务,所以这里被定义为一个物流基地发展建设。

总体来说,瓜达尔的建设是一项综合性的规划,之前由于开发的匮乏,沿海城市的商机并没有被很好的利用,将来在中巴经济走廊框架下,这里将建设成为一个自由贸易中心,一个工业化大城市和物流中心。

第四,在两国的产能合作领域。今年的重点是要在巴基斯坦建立一个中巴工业园区,政府已经宣布给予园区10年免税的政策支持。巴基斯坦的劳动成本相对较低,约是中国的1/3,这对制造业企业的发展是一个重要因素。这两点将成为工业园吸引企业投资的亮点。

当地时间2016年11月13日,巴基斯坦瓜达尔港,巴基斯坦总理谢里夫等巴国军政高层齐聚瓜达尔港,

见证首批中国商船从这里出海,将货物运往中东和非洲

 

《中国投资》:有媒体报道,近日,“中巴经济走廊”长期规划文本基本确定,请您谈谈规划的主要任务和即定目标?

扎法尔:目前中巴经济走廊长期规划的文本已基本协定,日期规划到2030年,但是在这个过程中,中巴双方还会不断继续规划。比如能源建设领域,将来还会对巴基斯坦的水资源进行勘探,研究水资源的合理利用;基础设施建设方面,接下来会签一个公路培训研究中心的合作等等类似的延伸领域。所以我相信,到了这个时间节点,两国还会携手继续往前走。

关于电力对巴基斯坦的重要性,因为在过去很长的时间里,巴基斯坦国家对电力资源的重视度有偏差,和自身技术不够广泛,造成了整个国家严重缺电的情况,甚至出现过大面积近10个小时断电的情况。而巴基斯坦目前正朝着工业化国家的方向发展,将来工业会更多,如果不尽快改变这种现况,会严重阻碍发展,已经不仅仅是生活上的不便。

我们目前做的规划是电量每年有一定幅度的增长。经过两年的协商,两国确定了到2025年的长期合作规划。巴基斯坦未来5年要增加17045兆瓦发电量,这相当于在现在日发电量不足2万兆瓦的基础上增加约80%。从数据上看,显而易见这是一个巨大的项目。中巴双方对此项目的规划非常具体,实施非常严谨,成立了工作小组,定期会面,审核进度,探讨存在的问题和如何将其改进。工作小组的上层还有最高委员会指导工作,由中国国家发改委和巴基斯坦计划部各指定一位领导牵头指导,工作小组的报告会提交最高委员会进一步研究。所以每年会根据实际情况调整具体实施,以尽量保证如期如愿完成计划。

 

《中国投资》:在巴基斯坦,民间对建设中巴经济走廊的态度看法?

扎法尔:很多人对巴基斯坦的了解都是从新闻报道里看到居多,但这当中也确实存在一定的夸大炒作成分。巴基斯坦的社会环境会面临一些这样的问题,所以中巴经济走廊开启以来,政府采取非常严密的措施,以保证外来投资人员的安全,目前没有出现过任何状况。巴基斯坦人民总体来讲,对中国人非常友好。

包括各政党之间,对中巴经济走廊的概念和意义也逐渐清晰,比如建厂选址,是根据对周围环境和建成后运营的需求来选。要真正从经济效益的角度做投资,才会真正发展起来。现在他们反而会去想怎样吸引投资,这是一个很好的良性效应。

两国正在实施的合作项目将来的受益是可预见的,并且还给当地的居民和发展带来一些潜在的受益。虽然这些项目真正的实现,和它真正的经济效益还需时间去实现,但目前来说,我们已经开始得到中巴经济走廊为巴基斯坦总体发展带来的益处。

我举个例子,在所有规划项目的实施过程中,对巴基斯坦的就业率带来了非常大的推动,就业率的上升随之带动了民生问题的改善,所以这是一个良性循环的潜在效益。以修建一条400公里的公路为例,需要10000名工人施工,由于在巴基斯坦雇佣中国工人的成本远远超过雇佣巴基斯坦当地的工人,所以企业只雇佣2000名中国工人,由此就可以解决8000名巴基斯坦人的就业,从而等于解决8000个家庭的民生问题。再比如目前在建的一个电厂,这个电厂采取的方式是雇佣200名巴基斯坦大学生,出资让他们到中国培训技术知识,学操作,学中文,将来和中国的技术人员一起作业,这个电厂的合作期大概是25年,所以,参与电厂建设的200名巴基斯坦人就拥有了长达25年工作保障。同时,这些公路、铁路、电厂、港口等项目在建设的过程中也能带动周围的经济发展,餐饮、住宿、零售业等相关产业也将同步发展。这些都是巴基斯坦当地居民的潜在受益点,所以在巴基斯坦民间对中巴两国建设经济走廊非常支持。

 

当地时间2015年9月29日,巴基斯坦Gojal谷,等待穿越喀喇昆仑公路山谷隧道的车辆

《中国投资》:中巴经济走廊是目前“一带一路”倡议落地最大的一个项目,您怎么看待一带一路倡议?

扎法尔:中方提出这个想法的时候,世界上出现许多议论,很多观点认为此倡议是中国为了扩大其政治影响而提出的,表现出一些担心与质疑。但是巴基斯坦和中国一直关系很好,我们认为中国没有任何这种想法。中国和巴基斯坦的外交关系历史悠久,我们也看到中国从没有干扰过巴基斯坦的内政,也没有要求过我们做什么事情,也没有利用过我们,所以巴基斯坦对中国的“一带一路”倡议从没有怀疑过,我们认为“一带一路”倡议纯粹是为了互利共赢,来扩大世界各国的发展。如果一定要说出一个目的,那么可以说是中国的企业可以有更多的发展,同时参与“一带一路”建设的国家也可以得到受益。巴基斯坦是第一个赞成和响应“一带一路”倡议的国家,中国总理访问巴基斯坦时说到中巴两国共同建设一个经济走廊,把它作为示范点,也给大家看看,所以巴基斯坦是非常支持,非常赞赏“一带一路”倡议的。

 

《中国投资》:请您谈谈对这次峰会的期望。

扎法尔:这次峰会我们期望能够更多的人理解中国“一带一路”倡议的概念,能够更多的人接受中国这个美好的愿望和想法,能够更多人参与“一带一路”的合作。更多的人参与,更多的人互相理解,互相支持,合作领域会不断扩大。大家多一些信任,也会多一些共享,我相信世界可以更美。巴基斯坦的领导也希望,能够把中巴合作的经验和大家分享,告诉大家我们得到了什么,你们也来参与。最终,受益的是参与“一带一路”建设的各个国家,不是某一个国家。


China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Moves forward Pragmatic Cooperation

between Pakistan and China

Zhou Yang; China Investment; translated by Liao Dong; Photo by Zhou Yang

The
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)is an example of cooperation
within the framework of the OBOR initiative, onwhich the two governments
and businesses of the two countries have made heftyinput of energy and
resources, striving to achieve the goal of mutual benefitand win-win
situation through open and inclusive cooperation.

On
May 14, 2017, the Belt and Road Forumfor International Cooperation,
attracting the world’s attention was held inBeijing, on which Pakistan
expressed the hope to see more extensive developmentderiving from
cooperation between the two countries.  On conditions and prospect of
cooperationbetween Pakistan and China, the China Investment
correspondent had an exclusiveinterview with Mr. Zafaruddin Mahmood, the
Pakistani Special Envoy on the CPEC.

 

China
Investment: First of all, would youplease comment on the current
progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridorand why Pakistan should
have appointed a special envoy on it?

Zafaruddin Mahmood: First of all, I wouldlike to speak about the background of the CPEC.

In
2013, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made anofficial visit to Pakistan,
during which he put forward the idea of the Beltand Road.  He proposed
that with aprofound friendship between China and Pakistan, if the two
countries could setup pragmatic cooperation within the framework of
OBOR.  It was through several consultations betweenleaders of both
countries that a consensus had been reached to build the CPER.  After
both sides came to agreement on theintent for cooperation, leading
members of concerned departments of bothcountries worked out a series of
plans for the CPEC, including principal areasof cooperation, mode of
cooperation and implementation of planning.  Eventually, four areas are
set for generaldirection.

The first area
of cooperation is energycooperation, especially construction of power
generation projects.  The second area chosen for cooperation
isconstruction of infrastructural facilities. The third area is the
construction and management of the GwadarPort.  The fourth area is
cooperation onproduction capacity between the two countries.

It
has been two years since the basicframework was put in place.  Things
aregoing on well and very smoothly with the four areas.  In a short span
of over two years, China’sinvestment in Pakistan has surpassed US$ 25
billion, unprecedented in thePakistani history of more than seventy
years. It also results from the fact that both countries set great story
by theCPEC.  At the same time, as Pakistanbelieves that the cooperation
between the two countries with areas so extensiveand involving an
investment so large that calls for the designation of aspecial officer,
whose job is to look after related contact work.

China
Investment:  Just now you mentioned that as far back as2013 when
Premier Li Keqiang visited Pakistan, he called for cooperation on
theCPEC.  But its formal implementation didnot begin until 2015.  For
the two yearsin between, what work had been done?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:  Because
it was necessary to set the directionat the early stage and to work out
the mode and plans for cooperation. Besides,the period of establishing
cooperation on the CPEC happened to experience achange in government of
Pakistan, and as such it was necessary to brief andexplain to the
incoming government on conditions of the cooperation.  And only by then
could preparatory work ofthe early stage be done, including decisions on
key areas and concrete projectsand how to deal with issues of
implementation such as financing.  As a gigantic plan, it had a
preparatory procedureto go through in the early stage.  All ofthe above
took about two years.

China
Investment: When President Xi Jinpingvisited Pakistan in 2015, he
underscored that Sino-Pakistani cooperationcenters on the Gwadar Port,
energy, communication infrastructures andindustrial cooperation.  Within
thecurrent CPEC framework, China’s actual investment in Pakistan has
exceeded US$25 billion.  As such, perhaps you couldcomment on the
progress of projects in the above four areas and the prospect oftheir
future development?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:
First of all, let mebegin with the energy area.  There arenumerous and
complicated classifications of energy.  For instance, by ways of power
generation,power plants can be classified as thermos power stations,
hydraulic powerstations, solar electrical energy power stations and wind
poweredstations.  As it is more speedily todevelop solar and wind
powered stations, at present some of solar and windpowered projects
under Pakistan-China cooperation have been operational andintegrated
into the power grids.  Atpresent, a thermos power station is
operational.  Besides, some of the power projects areexpected to be
completed by the end of this year or early next year.  It takes a longer
period of time to build ahydraulic power projects, which is now under
construction.

On May 12, the first unit
of Sahiwal CoalPower Project (2×660 MW) built by China Huaneng and
Shandong Ruyi wasinaugurated and connected to the grid successfully,
becoming the firstcoal-based generation unit to be connected to the grid
under the CPEC.  It will markedly alleviate Pakistan’s powershortage.

Secondly, Pakistan conducts closecooperation with China on infrastructural cooperation.

The
Karakoran Highway (KKH), being the onlyland passageway between Pakistan
and China, is known as the Highway ofFriendship between Pakistan and
China. In August 2008, the first phase of the project of KKH renovation
andexpansion as one of Chinese assistance was officially launched.  It
was completed by June 2015.

In April
2016, the first key highwayproject of the CPEC, the second phase of KKH
elevation and renovation (theThakot-Havelian section) was officially
launched in the Manshera District,Pakistan.  The project is contracted
toChina Road and Bridge Corporation, a subsidiary of China
CommunicationsCorporation and expected to be completed next year.

The
construction of the KKH is a complexproject.  The project moves
southwardalong the KKH to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, the highest
elevation being 4500meters above the sea level and the lowest
(Islamabad), merely 700 meters, thealtitude drop being great.  Though
thehighway is not too long in distance, less than 400 kilometers as the
crowflies, the engineering work is very difficult. The topography along
the highway is complicated, with many rivers andvalleys to go across by
tunneling and building bridges.  As a result, the construction is costly
inexpenses and slow in speed, which is eventually decided to be built
section bysection.

Meanwhile, the
superhighway between Karachiand Lahore is also an important project
within the framework of the CPEC, ofwhich the Sukkur-Multan section is
about 400 kilometers long and designed for 6carriageways in both
directions and 120 kilometers/hour in speed.  The project is built by
China ConstructionGroup and expected to complete next year. The ultimate
goal of the superhighway is to link the two largest citiesof the
country Karachi and Lahore, which will greatly promote social
andeconomic development.

Third, the
construction of the GwadarPort.  At present, the management rightof the
port has been transferred to companies on the Chinese side.  Through
renovation, the port has beenremarkably improved in terms of depth of
water and port facilities.  The port now handles loading and unloading
ofChinese ships on regular basis, it now operates in business mode.  At
the same time, Pakistan will enter intoagreement with China on
cooperation in building the superhighway in Gwadar andin overall urban
planning of the city. The Government of Pakistan has declared a free
trade zone (FTZ) inGwadar, which is likewise handed over to Chinese
companies for management andoperation.  The first phase of
tenantenrolling and leasing of the FTZ has been completed.  The greatest
bright spot of the FTZ forinvestment is preferential policy including
tax exemption for 22 years.  Currently, ongoing projects there include
theconstruction of a power plant with the investment of China
CommunicationsCorporation, which is already underway. The construction
of the Gwadar Airport,an assistance project by the Chinese Government,
will be started with theyear.  There is also a large-scalelogistic
center built with the investment of Linyi, China, the first phase
ofwhich is completed.  Geographically,Gwadar is located near the Middle
East, bordering countries like Iran andAfghanistan, which, in addition
to the preferential policy of 22-year taxexemption make it suitable for
doing business with neighboring countries.  As a result, the
construction there isdefined as one for logistic base.

Overall,
the construction of Gwadar isunder a comprehensive plan. Previously,
owing to the lack of development, thebusiness opportunity of the coastal
city is not well utilized.  In the future, within the framework of
theCPEC, the city will be built into a free trade center, an
industrializedmetropolis and a logistic center.

Fourth,
in the area of cooperation inproduction capacity between the two
countries, the priority of this year is tobuild a China-Pakistan
industrial park in Pakistan, in support of which theGovernment has
announced a policy of ten-year tax exemption.  The labor cost of
Pakistan is relatively low,about a third of that of China, which is an
important factor for thedevelopment of manufacturing industries. Both of
the points will become the bright spots for the industrial parkto
attract investment.

 

China
Investment: According to mediareporting, the text of the long-term plan
for CPEC has been basically finalizedrecently.  Would you please speak
aboutthe principal tasks and set goals of the planning?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:
At present, the text ofthe long-term plan for CPEC has been basically
decided upon throughconsultation, the planned timeframe being until
2030.  However, in the process, both sides of Chinaand Pakistan will
continue to work on planning. For instance, in the area of energy
construction, in the future,exploration of water resources in Pakistan
will be conducted and studies willbe made for rational utilization of
water resources.  In the area of infrastructure construction,an upcoming
agreement will be one on cooperation in setting up a highwaytraining
and research center and cooperation in other areas of extension. 
Therefore, I believe that when this timeframeends, both countries will
go further on hand in hand.

On the
importance of electrical power toPakistan, I would like to say that over
a long period of time in the past, thestate of Pakistan went amiss in
setting store by electrical resources.  In addition, its own
technological basis isnot broad enough.  All of this has led tothe
situation of serious shortage of power for the whole country, which has
experienced10-hour blackouts in a large area. Now, Pakistan is moving
towards anindustrialized country and there will be more industries in
the future.  If this situation remains unchanged as soonas possible, it
will stand in the way of development on top of causinginconvenience in
livelihood.

At present, we plan for a
certain degree ofincrease in electricity every year. Through
consultation in the past two years, both countries have come upwith an
agreement for long-term cooperation plan until 2025.  In five years to
come, Pakistan will add17045 MW to its total installed generation
capacity, an increase of about 80percent of its daily generation
capacity of less than 20000 MW.  Looking at the figure, this is
obviously ahuge project.  Both the Chinese andPakistani sides are
detailed in the project plan and meticulous in its implementation.  Both
sides have set up a working group forregular meeting, reviewing the
progress of the project, exploring onoutstanding issues and working out
improvements.  Sitting above the working group, there is asupreme
committee to guide its work. The National Development and
ReformCommission of China and the Ministry of Planning of Pakistan each
haveappointed a leading member to head the committee.  The reports of
the working group aresubjected to the supreme committee for further
studies.  As such, every year there will bereadjustment of concrete
measures for implementation so as to ensure that theplan will be carried
out on time and according to what is desired.

 

China Investment: Would you comment on theattitudes of Pakistani general public toward the CPEC?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:
Many people gain theirunderstanding of Pakistan through the media.
However, there are also certainelements of exaggeration and cooking up
there. Pakistan may face one kind or another kind of problems in its
socialconditions.  Therefore, since the CPECwas launched, the Government
has taken very rigorous measures to ensure thesafety of foreign
investors.  So far,nothing abnormal has happened.  Ingeneral, the
Pakistani people entertain very friendly feelings for the Chinesepeople.

Among
various political parties in thecountry, the concept and significance
of the CPEC have gained moreunderstanding and more traction. For
instance, the site selection forinvestment should be conducted according
to the surrounding environment andwhat is required for
post-construction operation.  Only by getting economic viable
investment,can development be achieved.  All of theparty people have
conversely turned to think in terms of how to attract foreigninvestment,
producing very good benign effects.

Now,
the benefits of projects undercooperation between the two countries can
be foretold and so can the potentialbenefits for local people and local
development.  Though it takes time for the projects to beoperational
and to make real economic returns, at present we have already
beenaccorded with benefits of the CPEC for the overall development of
Pakistan.

Let me give an example.  In
implementing all projects under planning,the employment of Pakistan is
greatly promoted, increase on jobs leading toimprovement on people’s
livelihood.  Soit is a benign circle.  Taking theconstruction of 400
kilometers of highway for example, it needs 10000 workersto work on
site.  Since it is far morecostly to hire Chinese workers than local,
Pakistani ones, the company hiresonly 2000 Chinese workers, and
therefore it gives 8000 jobs to the Pakistanis,which equals to solving
the problem of the livelihood for 8000 Pakistanifamilies.  Another
example is a powerplant under construction, which has adopted the method
of hiring 200 collegegraduates and financing their visit to China for
training on technologicalknowledge, learning to operate machines and
learning Chinese.  On their return, they will work side by sidewith
Chinese technical staff.  Thecooperation period for the power plant is
about 25 years, and therefore, the200 Pakistanis participating in the
construction of the power plant will haveguaranteed jobs for just as
long.  At thesame time, in the process of their construction, the
projects of highways,railways, power plants and ports have driven
forward surrounding economicdevelopment locally, concerned industries
such as the catering industries,hotels and retail businesses all
enjoying parallel development.  All this breeds potential benefits for
localpeople in Pakistan and as a result, the Pakistani civil society is
verysupportive of the construction of economic corridor between China
and Pakistan.

 

China
Investment: As the CPEC is thelargest project of the OBOR initiative
under implementation, in this context,how would you comment on the OBOR
initiative?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:  When
the Chinese side first came up with thisidea, there were a lot of
comments in the world.  Many of the commentators believed that it wasfor
expanding its political influence that China made the
initiative,displaying some doubts and concerns. However, Pakistan has
all along maintained very good ties with China andwe do not believe that
China has any such ideas.  In the long history of diplomatic
relationsbetween China and Pakistan, we have never seen China either
interfere with ourcountry, or ask us to do anything improper or use us. 
Therefore, Pakistan has never harbored anydoubts about China’s OBOR
initiative.  Weconsider the OBOR initiative purely for mutual benefit
and win-win situationand for expanding development of all
countries. Should one list a self-serving purpose, one could say that it
allowsmore opportunities of development for Chinese industries while
all countriesparticipating in the construction of the OBOR can also be
benefited.  Pakistan is the first country that hasapprobated and
responded to the OBOR initiative.  When the Chinese Premier visited
Pakistan, heproposed that China and Pakistan build an economic corridor
together and makeit a showcase for all people to see.  Asa result,
Pakistan is very supportive and appreciative of the OBOR initiative.

China Investment: For the coming OBORsummit, what are your expectations?

Zafaruddin Mahmood:  We
expect that this summit can enable morepeople to understand the idea
behind China’s OBOR initiative, to accept thisbeautiful aspiration and
idea of China and to take part in OBORcooperation.  With more people
toparticipate and to mutually understand and support one another, the
areas ofcooperation will continue to enlarge. More trust will lead to
more sharing. I believe that the world can be more beautiful.  It is
also the hope of the Pakistanileadership to share Pakistan’s experience
on cooperating with China with allparticipants and to tell them that
what we have got, you should also joinup.  Finally, it is for all
countriesparticipating in the OBOR construction to benefit rather than a
certain countryonly.