Pakistan-US ties will not impact CPEC, claims Pakistan PM aide

The Pakistan-US relationship will not impact the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to the Pakistan prime minister on commerce,  has said

Jul 07, 2021
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Pakistan-US

The Pakistan-US relationship will not impact the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to the Pakistan prime minister on commerce,  has said

Appearing on DawnNewsTV show Live with Adil Shahzeb, he was asked whether Pakistan-US relations could have an impact on CPEC.

"I don't think so," he responded, adding that the US knew how important the project was for Pakistan and "it will continue to remain so."

"Fifty per cent of investments have come from China and our exports to China increased by 30 percent following the FTA (free trade agreement). So it [China] is very important for us from a trade and investment perspective and China is a strategic partner for us," Dawood said.

Replying to a question on whether the US exit from Afghanistan would have any ramifications on Pakistan's deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dawood categorically said that he did not think so.

"We have had separate talks with the IMF and the way [Finance Minister] Shaukat Tarin has handled it is quite good," he said.

He also stressed the importance of enhancing Pakistan's regional trade and lamented that the volume of trade with the country's neighbours was "very low".

Dawood added that Pakistan had decided to approach other regional countries, such as Uzbekistan, to enhance trade relations.

He pointed out that the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan had visited Pakistan this year, showing keen interest in Islamabad's proposal for business and investment ties.

"Their interest is to have a route for their goods from Pakistan to African markets while we need a country in the Central Asian Republics that are regionally connected and that is Uzbekistan," he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is leaving for Uzbekistan next week with trade and investment leaders to enhance bilateral relations with the key Central Asian republic.

In anticipation of the CPEC extending into Afghanistan and beyond to Central Asia, Pakistan has been focusing on improving relations with Central Asian Republics, especially Uzbekistan.

(SAM)

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