EghtesadOnline: A Pakistani senior member of the parliament strongly believs that China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is incomplete with Iran’s joining.
In an interview with IRNA, Mohammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Member of National Assembly said that CPEC will become more effective if Iran joins it.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega project between the two countries under which China will invest $46 billion in Pakistan.
The economic corridor is about 3000 kilometers long consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar port. The project is crucial for both the countries.
Iran has already shown willingness to become part of the CPEC.
Mohammad Ijaz-ul-Haq expressing his views, said the potential to enhance trade relationship between Iran and Pakistan has always been there. “The visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Pakistan was very fruitful and his commitment to increase trade between Iran and Pakistan to 5 billion US dollars is a very good gesture from him,” he said.
“I think CPEC is incomplete without Iran and Iran’s joining will mean that this entire region will be in the loop and it will facilitate each other,” said the leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Zia).
Pakistani politician said: I think there is huge market in Central Asia and onwards and both Iran and Pakistan are at the door step of the region so we should walk together.
He said Iran and Pakistan are working on lots of things right now, like Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, currency swap as central banks of both countries have come up with a currency swap, and there is also the potential of importing electricity from Iran between 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts.
“Chabahar and Gwadar ports can complement each other as they are very close to each other, and after their development, Iran and Pakistan to gather with China, can be a stepping stone towards Central Asia, Russia and the entire region,” he viewed.
He said: During my recent visit to Iran as the head of a Pakistani business delegation, I discussed with the Iranian Chambers of Commerce and government officials about electricity exports to Pakistan and they are very much interested and they are ready even to go to the extent of lifting the visa restrictions between the two countries.
Regarding energy cooperation between two neighboring countries, he said: I think if Pakistan has the energy at its doorstep(its neighboring country Iran), so why it has to go to the problem of creating expensive and huge development projects, there is access to electricity in Iran and they are willing to provide Pakistan with three to five thousand megawatts.