BEIJING: The completion of Sukkur-Multan section of Peshawar to Karachi Expressway will not only reduce the travelling time between the two cities but it will also directly promote the socio-economic development of the areas along the route, Chairman of China Construction Pakistan Co., Ltd, Xiao Hua said. “The completion of the project will reduce the opening time of the two places from 11 hours to less than 4 hours, which will directly promote the socio-economic development of the areas along the route, and will also play a positive role in connecting China and Pakistan,” he said in an exclusive interview with China Economic Daily-China Economic Net. Xiao Hua said that Multan and Sukkur connected by the PKM project are important cities in Pakistan. Multan is the main producing area of ??cash crops such as mango and date, and Sukkur is an important transportation hub. “The company focuses on integrating more closely with the local economy and the people, and through practical measures, it provides benefits to residents along the line,” he added. The Chairman said the first is to promote the development of industries and economies along the route. The project requires 88.12 million cubic meters of earthwork, 15 million cubic meters of crushed stone, 525 million liters of diesel, about 190,000 tons of steel, and about 750,000 tons of cement. These materials are purchased locally. At the same time, the project cooperated with the local to develop 531 borrowing pits and 129 quarries, which promoted the development of local earth-rock mining, transportation, and sales industries; the local engineering supplier and machinery leasing companies were paid Rs 148.5 billion in engineering costs. There are more than 1,000 local enterprises, which have promoted the development of the local economy and surrounding industries; paying taxes and fees to the local government of Pakistan in accordance with regulations has contributed to improving the local government�s financial situation, he added. He said the second is to provide a lot of employment and training opportunities. During the peak period of the project construction, more than 28,900 local employees were employed, and a large number of job opportunities were created through radiation from surrounding industries. More than 4,500 equipment operators, more than 2,300 management and technical personnel have been trained for Pakistan, and a large number of local farmers who depend on the heavens have been transformed into modern industrial workers in Pakistan, he added. Xiao Hua said the third is to actively fulfill social responsibilities and benefit the local community. Aiming at the current situation of local infrastructure inferiority, the project has accumulated 79.6 kilometers of convenient roads, 20 bridges, 62 wells, and more than 300 canals. The total length is over 40,000 meters. The project team repaired the schools along the line, organized medical teams, and provided free clinic services to more than 1,000 people in the village, he added. The company remained active in the frontline of local rescue and disaster relief, and actively participated in the rescue of various accident scenes. It also assisted eight Pakistani university students to further their studies at Wuhan University of Technology and bear more than 1.5 million yuan in tuition, living expenses, insurance and other expenses for 4 years, he added. Sharing expiring as the first Chinese construction company entering the Pakistani market, he said the company faced several challenges including lack of resources and high temperature. However, the China Construction will continue to serve the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project and make its own contribution to improving Pakistan�s infrastructure construction, he added. Xiao Hua said in the course of implementing projects, Chinese architecture always adheres to the principle of openness, and strives to drive more people and more social forces to coexist and jointly build a “home” culture through multiple ways and methods. As respect to local religious beliefs and cultural practices, the company invested in the construction of more than 20 mosques along the PKM project to facilitate the worship of Pakistani employees; in order to meet the habits of Pakistani employees drinking milk tea on a regular basis, the project is equipped with full-time tea boys. It formulated code of conduct for Chinese employees which strictly regulate the behavior of Chinese personnel and respect local customs and customs. To strengthen the integration of Chinese and Pakistani culture, he said the project provided a dedicated cafeteria and a Pakistani chef for Pakistani employees, equipped with daily necessities according to local habits. During the Chinese and Pakistani festival, the project department will send holiday condolences and blessings to Pakistani employees; Customize Pakistani clothes for Chinese employees, and wear national costumes on traditional Chinese and Pakistani traditional festivals to experience the atmosphere of national culture. To create a “same road, same family” culture, seminars between Chinese and Pakistani employees, the company organized a series of communication and learning activities, such as inviting Pakistani employees to learn Chinese calligraphy, sending Pakistani employees to Wuhan to participate in sports. In the Pakistani festivals such as Eid, Independence Day, and Eid al-Adha, various friendship activities are carried out with Pakistani employees through the exchange of gifts, interactive experiences of each other �s customs, and sports competitions, he said. Xiao Hua in the development of the Pakistani market, China Construction strives to strengthen cooperation with Chinese-funded enterprises in Pakistan and strong local companies to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. During the construction process, they actively fulfilled their social responsibilities, paid attention to the promotion of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the profound friendship between China and Pakistan, so that the local people could understand and appreciate the positive effect of the project construction on the local economic development. It may be mentioned here that on December 22, 2015, China Construction signed the Peshawar to Karachi Expressway (Sukur-Multan Section) in the EPC mode. The total length of the project is 392km, the contract value is US $ 2.889 billion, and the construction period is 3 years. It is financed by the Export-Import Bank of China. In May 2016, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Sukkur, a southern city of Pakistan. On August 5, 2016, the owner officially issued a start-up order and began to calculate the construction period. In order to ensure the construction speed, 392 kilometers along the entire line were divided into 7 bid sections for simultaneous construction.