Pakistan, China agree to spur CPEC momentum: govt

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan and China have agreed to revive the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which was left pending by the previous government.

A six-member delegation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) led by its President Lin Songtian on Thursday called on Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Prof Ahsan Iqbal and discussed the CPEC project after the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China.

On the occasion, the minister said that Pakistan had long-standing historic ties with China and the incumbent government has restarted CPEC under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who recently visited China.

CPAFFC is a Chinese national people organization that engages in people-to-people diplomacy and the aim of this association is to enhance people’s friendship and international cooperation on development.

Speaking to the delegation, the minister informed that the CPEC has been revived since the new government came into power under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in April this year. He also informed the delegation about the recent decisions taken by the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) and the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China.

The minister also highlighted the significance of ML-1 Pakistan Railway project and the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project which were discussed during the recent visit of the prime minister to China. He said that both sides have agreed to start these projects without any further delay.

Similarly, the minister also highlighted the importance of solar and renewable projects in which both countries have agreed to start projects. He said that there is huge potential in the agriculture sector. He said that the government also started work on the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country. He informed the delegation that the incumbent government has also restarted the establishment of SEZs as there was no progress in the last four years.

The minister assured full cooperation to the Chinese by facilitating in Pakistan so the CPEC projects could be further expedited. The delegation was further informed that Gwadar International Airport will be functional next year.

Lin Songtian said that the Chinese market has huge potential, providing profitability, stability and efficiency of business and assured the minister to cooperate in all the sectors. He said that China would send a group of experts to Pakistan so they could exchange their experience to execute several projects.

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