By Asad Cheema
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday emphasized to enhance business-to-business linkages between China and Pakistan and facilitate enhanced investment from Chinese enterprises.
The minister chaired a consultative meeting to review the preparations for the upcoming 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on China Pakistan Economic Corridor. All the conveners of the respective Joint Working Groups (JWGs) under CPEC framework including Secretary Planning, Chairman CPEC Authority, Secretary Communications and Secretary Foreign Affairs attended the meeting. Officials from line ministries and representatives from all relevant departments also attended the meeting.
The conveners of the JWGs and their representatives briefed the minister on the agenda and proposed deliverables for the 10th JCC. The minister expressed satisfaction over the preparations and suggested deliverables for the JCC. Under the JWG on Transport and Infrastructure, Asad Umar agreed to take up DI Khanâ€“Zhob highway project with the Chinese side for funding in the meeting of the respective JWG. The meeting also agreed that new projects will be considered in the next JCC after approval of the PC-Is including Swat Express Way Phaseâ€“II and Peshawar-D I Khan Motorway. Greater Peshawar Mass Transit was also discussed and it was decided that the project will be taken up with the Chinese side after the completion of feasibility study. Progress on prioritized CPEC SEZs including Rashakai, Dhabeji, Alama Iqbal Industrial City (M3) was also reviewed. Discussing the progress in industrial cooperation sector under CPEC, Asad Umar stressed the need to take immediate actions to encourage the Chinese investors to invest in SEZs. He emphasized to enhance industrial competitiveness of business in Pakistan, through technology transfer, world class managerial and industrial practices and skills transfer from China. Asad Umar directed Ministry of National Food Security and Research to select need based specific projects for agriculture to take up with Chinese counterparts and Foot and Mouth Disease free zone for Balochistan should also be the part of upcoming JCC. Asad Umar would convene follow-up meetings on industrial cooperation, agriculture, Gwadar and Socio-economic development sector in the coming week to further refine the deliverables for the 10th JCC.