Islamabad, 30 December 2022 (TDI): An award ceremony to honor outstanding Pakistani staff of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects was held by the Embassy of China in Pakistan, on 30th December 2022.

During the ceremony, representatives from three projects; Mir Arslan Ali from the Matiari to Lahore 660kV HVDC Transmission Line Project, Shakeela Kosar from the Metro train Orange Line Project Lahore, and Muhammad Hamza Khalid from the Sahiwal power plant delivered speeches.

Ahsan Iqbal, the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives of Pakistan, Ambassador Nong Rong, Pan Jiang, the Deputy Director-General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Ying Minghao, the Deputy CEO and Council Member of APCEA also addressed the ceremony.

Representatives of CPEC companies, Pakistan’s think tanks, and media circles attended the event. CPEC is an initiative of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as a demonstration project of China-Pakistan cooperation.

During the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif to China this year, leaders from both countries agreed to accelerate CPEC and make it a model of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The CPEC’s strong development momentum has aided Pakistan’s economic stability and people’s well-being. It is pertinent to note that, the accomplishments of the project are the result of collaborative efforts between China and Pakistan.

Award ceremony honors outstanding Pakistani CPEC staff
Award ceremony honors outstanding Pakistani CPEC staff

Also read: Chinese Ambassador, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning discuss CPEC Projects

Speech of Ambassador Nong Rong, the ambassador of China to Pakistan during the ceremony 

Following is the text of the speech by the Chinese Ambassador at the ceremony of award distribution.

H.E. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives,
H.E. Pan Jiang, DDG of National Development and Reform Commission of China,
Mr. Ying Minghao, council member of the All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association,
Outstanding Pakistani Staff of the CPEC Projects,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Happy New Year!
I am very glad to attend the Awarding Ceremony for Outstanding Pakistani Staff of the CPEC Projects 2022. It is also a year that witnessed the deepening of all-around cooperation between the two countries.
In particular, against the challenge of the global economic downturn and historical floods in Pakistan, the CPEC projects have made sound achievements.
In this regard, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to H.E. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, for all the efforts and contributions you and your team have made to CPEC! I would like to thank H.E. Pan Jiang and NDRC colleagues, for your input and guidance in this landmark cooperation.
My thanks also go to the Chinese friends, Pakistani brothers and sisters, and whoever works for the smooth construction and operation of CPEC projects.
And thank All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association for the positive role it plays. I shall also thank our media friends and think tank experts for attendance.
It is important to pool all our resources and strength together, and brand the CPEC in a more visible way. During this year, the CPEC has always been the highlight of our bilateral relations.
On 2nd November, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan on his official visit to China.
Our two sides are committed to making full use of the JCC of the CPEC, advancing CPEC with greater efficiency, and making CPEC an exemplar of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Before the visit, the 11th JCC meeting was successfully held, setting the path for future cooperation, Water Resource Management and Climate Change have been added to the social-economic JWG.
A series of good news are coming from different sectors under the CPEC umbrella. The China-aided Eastbay Expressway of Gwadar port has begun operation since June, enhancing connectivity of the port, which is now transporting two hundred thousand tons of fertilizer.
Karot Hydropower started commercial operation in June as well, which provides cheap and clean electricity, and can reduce 3.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
The TEL and Nova power plants in Thar also started operations with the local coal. The Shanghai Electric Thar coal-based power plant has been connected to the national grid.
Six model farms under Pakistan-China Red Chilli Contract Farming Project are achieving a harvest in Punjab and Sindh Province, with an estimated yield of 700 tons of dried chilly.
This is just a portrayal of the great potential of agricultural cooperation between our two countries. In fact, Pakistan’s trade surplus of agricultural products for the year 2021 enjoyed an increase of 13 times.
This year is expected to exceed a record high of US$ 1 billion. So far, CPEC has created 192,000 jobs, 6000MW of power supply, 510 km of highway, and 886 km of transmission line, which laid a solid foundation for Pakistan’s socio-economic development.
The achievements of the CPEC are not possible without the joint efforts of staff from both China and Pakistan. Among the 34 outstanding Pakistani staff, some of you are engineers, who keep the boilers and other equipment in good condition; Some of you are from the administrative sector, who implement the Covid SOPs in a prudent manner; Some of you are from the financing sector, who help the project to attract investment.
Each of you has a good story. You are not only the constructors and participants of the CPEC but also the ‘witnesses and promoters of a brilliant history.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Recently, China adjusted its COVID prevention and control policies, which include the removal of measures to control the number of international flights and the restoration of people-to-people exchanges for business and study.
These will further promote the exchange of people, and facilitate investments between China and Pakistan. More Pakistani staff can take training programs in China.
More students can go to China for further study, and come back to join the CPEC projects, passing on the friendship between our two countries.
On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, I would take this occasion to extend my warm congratulations to the winners of the award for outstanding Pakistani staff!
The CPEC, as the pilot project of BRI and China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era, will always provide a broad stage for people to display their talents and realize personal values.
It is hoped that the Chinese and Pakistani staff will cherish the opportunity, contribute to the construction of the CPEC with practical actions, and continue to consolidate the iron friendship between China and Pakistan.
Chin-Pak Dosti Zindabad!