KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Tuesday emphasised that Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries may also benefit from this multi-billion project. They expressed that Pakistan would become twenty-fifth world economy in the next 15 to 20 years owing to the CPEC. Gwadar Port is a gateway to the CPEC and it would become global distribution centre, they added. The seminar titled ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – Rhythm of Progress’ was organised by Sahafi Welfare Association Karachi. Speaking at the seminar, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zubair F Tufial said that China has become a world economic power and Pakistan has to benefit from around $60 billion CPEC projects. The FPCCI president said the first special economic zone in Sindh is being set up in Dhabeji, which would be completed by 2019, which would create jobs. He said that the game-changer CPEC would also hugely benefit the people of Balochistan. Zubair was of the view that Pakistanis should learn Chinese language to grab opportunities. He hoped that shortage of electricity in the country would end by the end of 2018 due to the CPEC. “Today, a fastest train runs only in China and it has also sold the same (China-made) train to the United States of America,” he added. Director Marine Group Asim A Siddiqui said that the CPEC would definitely open up new markets for China whereas it rests with Pakistan how much it benefits from this multi-billion project. He said that the CPEC is a part of China’s global development projects for its economic gains and it (CPEC) is five percent accounted for the investment of China at world level. The CPEC is a sole project at world level which China has undertaken as a single country, he added. He said that thereabouts $11 billion would be spent on roads and infrastructure in Pakistan through the CPEC investment and investment on the side of water and electricity is also visible. He further said that nine free zones under the CPEC would be set up in the country. Security Expert Colonel (r) Ali Raza Mir, speaking on the occasion, said that China’s military and economic assistance would help Pakistan. He said that India is opposing the CPEC by a planned propaganda. Raza was of the view that neighbours be included in the CPEC. President Bird Javaria Tareen, speaking on attaining the sustainable peace and security, said that political and educational stability is a must. Javaria Tareen said that she is very supportive of youth empowerment and proposed to roll out a youth policy to create employment opportunities. She said that exchange programmes should be chalked out to promote further understanding among youth, journalists and other segments of the society. She said that China should come forward to guide us on food security as it has much expertise in this sector. Later, shields were distributed among the speakers. Published in Daily Times, August 30th 2017.