Islamabad, March 20 (IANS) Pakistan has ruled out the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has had a devastating impact on the global economy, would delay projects under the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“CPEC comprises long-term projects whose completion, in many cases, is spread over years,” The Express Tribune quoted Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui as saying at her weekly briefing on Thursday.
“We are quite confident that we will be able to complete the CPEC projects in time and, going forward, the short-term impact by the spread of COVID-19 will be counterbalanced by effective and swift mobilisation of resources,” she added.
The second phase of CPEC is scheduled to kick off when President Xi will visit Pakistan sometime this year.
However, it was not clear if the visit will go ahead as planned because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
CPEC is a flagship $60 billion project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines and sea lanes.
The multi-billion dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.