Power projects including 1124 MW Kohala and 700.7 MW Azad Pattan HPPs as well as 1,320 MW Thar Coal power plant project will be taken up in the coming meeting of the Pakistan-China Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG) which would be held in the first week of the next month (August).
The Power Division highlighted the agenda for the forthcoming 9th JEWG meeting and discussed power projects in pre Joint Coordination Committee meeting held on Tuesday, here in Islamabad.
Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal presided over the meeting to review the progress made in preparation for the 11th JCC meeting expected to be convened next month.
Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood gave a detailed briefing on the 3rd International Cooperation and Coordination JWG meeting held virtually on 22nd July 2022.
The foreign secretary said that third-party participation and extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan were also discussed.
A joint study for the future development of Thar Coal has also been made part of the agenda of the coming JEWG meeting.
The minister underlined that measures have been taken to provide sufficient power for Gwadar city, and stressed the need for renewable energy projects for Gwadar city development in the future.
The meeting also discussed projects in the agriculture and socio-economic sector for the forthcoming 11th JCC meeting.
In the agricultural sector, it was underlined that China’s expanding agricultural market provides significant potential for Pakistani exports. Modernization and mechanization of agriculture in Pakistan should be carried out in the context of the CPEC, as well as other measures to enable agricultural development and tap into the Chinese market for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) of animals and quarantine issues were explicitly emphasized as important hurdles in meat export to China by a representative from the Ministry of National Food Security, who informed the chair that they are being addressed on priority with Chinese assistance.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (IC&T) also briefed the meeting on the agenda of the forthcoming 2nd JWG on IT with a focus on the ICT infrastructure development, policy and regulations, human resource development, and cyber security.
The Minister for Planning stressed the need for cooperation with China in the IT sector, as China has emerged as the leader in artificial intelligence, and cooperation with China in this field has enormous promise for Pakistan.
The minister concluded by emphasizing the importance of the people-to-people exchange program between China and Pakistan and how it may contribute to the economic development of the country. He instructed the secretary of planning to devise a plan to boost exchanges under the CPEC so that emerging leaders in every field experience the development in China, and internalise it for the development of Pakistan.
The provinces and special regions’ Planning and Development departments, as well as other relevant stakeholders from across the country, also virtually attended the meeting.