ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to continue the current momentum in projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
An understanding to this effect was reached in a meeting between Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Tuesday.
The ambassador appreciated the government’s efforts to fast-track CPEC projects, particularly the ground-breaking of the western route.
The minister hailed China’s support for the implementation of Gwadar Airport project. He said the present government accorded top priority to the development of Gwadar, highlighting that Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his recent visit to Balochistan, performed the ground-breaking of the Rs65-billion Zhob-Kuchlak section of western route, Rs17-billion transmission line for Makran coast, Rs23-billion new Gwadar Airport project, a hospital as well as a vocational institute.
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The implementation of the 300MW energy project in Gwadar will be aligned with the development of the port city. He said CPEC had gained momentum and efforts would be made to continue the same pace in future. Bakhtiar revealed that work on the first special economic zone at Rashakai would be launched soon in order to enter implementation stage in Pakistan-China industrial cooperation.
He said cooperation would be strengthened through a formal framework agreement focusing on joint ventures and B2B cooperation. The minister emphasised the need for robust cooperation between business communities of the two countries.
“We should move towards Pak-China Business Forum with representatives from leading companies of the two countries in various areas,” suggested the minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2019.