The Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, said Friday that the pace of project implementation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will accelerate further in the coming days.
In a meeting with the Chinese ambassador, Yao Jing, issues related to the CPEC, the collaboration between companies between the two countries and the development of the social sector in Pakistan were discussed.
The minister expressed satisfaction with the general delivery of CPEC projects and said that the establishment and operation of Special Economic Zones (EEZs) in all provinces was a top priority and that progress in that direction was closely monitored.
The EEZs, he said, would act as a catalyst to increase manufacturing growth in the country.
Special economic zones that will be built in the second phase of the CPEC
The Chinese ambassador expressed great interest in paying special attention to rail transport, hydropower projects, social sector development projects and B2B collaboration between the two countries.
He said China would also consider investing in the low-cost housing program in Pakistan.
Yao said that meetings of some of the CPEC Joint Working Groups will be held through videoconference to ensure the preparation of the next meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) without delay.
The planning minister also said that provincial and federal governments were very interested in the Karachi Circular Railroad (KCR) project and discussed the latest developments related to the project.
Umar emphasized the need to improve B2B collaboration in the banking, telecommunications and digital finance, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
Separately, in a meeting with Yao, the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, thanked China for supporting Pakistan in meetings of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“China and other sister countries have supported Pakistan throughout the process in terms of guiding the country to improve its frameworks,” he said.
CPEC as a game changer?
The adviser and the Chinese envoy met to review preparations for the next visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to a press release.
During the meeting, both sides also discussed the progress in the CPEC and the measures to improve bilateral trade between the two countries. Issues of bilateral interest were discussed and agreed to improve economic cooperation.
The Chinese ambassador said it was a difficult time for the people of China, as they faced the outbreak of a new coronavirus. He added that China was patiently dealing with the virus and hoped to overcome it very soon.