ISLAMABAD: The Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing called on Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar here on Wednesday.
Matters of mutual interest including progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects came under discussion during the meeting, Press Information Department PID reported.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan and Project Director CPEC Hasaan Daud Butt. Minister PD&R highlighted the need to expedite progress on Gwadar projects such as New International Airport, Hospital, Vocational Institutes and Power Plant.
These projects would not only create conducive environment for future investment but would help to upgrade facilities for local population, he added.
Hesaid that ground is set to attract more trilateral investment here in future. He intimated that stakeholders’ consensus has been achieved on Gwadar City Master Plan and the document would be finalized at the earliest. Minister appreciated that Chinese experts on Socio Economic Development are visiting Pakistan this month to discuss cooperation in agriculture, education, medical treatment, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training projects.
He hailed Chinese Government for financial support to initiate pilot projects for poverty alleviation and informed that Pakistan side will identify sites for workable as well as impact creating projects with the input of provincial governments in the same sector.
Bakhtyar reiterated that all measures would be taken to fast track the industrial cooperation by ensuring development of Special Economic Zones. Ground breaking of the Rashakai SEZ will be done soon, Minister informed. He told that federal government would facilitate in providing utilities such as power, gas supplies and road infrastructure to all SEZs under CPEC, aiming at speedy development of these projects.
He asked Chinese Government to encourage state-owned and private sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan. Minister PD&R highlighted importance of agriculture sector development for Pakistan economic uplift and said that federal and provincial governments would come up with a viable road map for the forthcoming joint working group (JWG) meeting on agriculture.
He also stated that Pakistan welcomes Chinese agriculture sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan for input supplies as well as in food production processing, logistics, marketing and exports in a vertically integrated way or through joint ventures with Pakistani companies.
Minister underscored the need to finalize preliminary design of Pakistan Railways ML-1 up gradation so that negotiation on financial matters may commence. Both side agreed to start prepare tangible deliverable for the Prime Minister’s visit to China to participate in Belt and Road Forum, planned in April this year.