Pakistan, China committed to timely completion of CPEC projects: Official
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Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood called on Lieutenant General (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, chairman of the CPEC Authority, on Monday.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two sides agreed on the following points: “CPEC is a transformational project. There is a complete national consensus on CPEC’s indispensability for our national development efforts. Pakistan and China are firmly committed to the timely completion of CPEC projects and making it a High-Quality Demonstration Project of BRI.”
Reviewing progress on CPEC projects, the foreign secretary maintained that CPEC energy and infrastructure projects had created thousands of jobs and boosted industrial growth and productivity. It testified to the fact that CPEC’s contribution to Pakistani economy had been real and substantial, he said.
The foreign secretary said that Pakistan’s focus in the next phase of CPEC would be on industrialisation and socio-economic development of areas that will create jobs and vast growth opportunities for common people. He said that three of the nine CPEC SEZs, Rashakai, Dhabeji and Allama Iqbal, have been prioritised and Pakistan would welcome foreign direct investment in these projects.
Bajwa said the CPEC Authority was committed to ensuring that CPEC projects are completed on time. He hoped the 10th JCC, likely to be held in near future, would create more economic opportunities and contribute to expansion of CPEC projects. He reaffirmed that Pakistan would welcome relocation of industry from China and would institute a regime that could encourage inflow of Chinese investment to Pakistan.
The foreign secretary said the government was focused on strengthening agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China. In that regard, a Plan of Action, detailing contours of this collaboration, was already being discussed between the two governments. The foreign secretary hoped that the Plan of Action will be expeditiously implemented.
It was reaffirmed in the meeting that post-COVID-19, through collective efforts of China and Pakistan, CPEC would become the hub for the regional trade and connectivity and will deepen people-to-people exchanges at a wider level.