CPEC to become trade hub, says FO

In the post-COVID-19 scenario, through collective efforts of both the countries, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will become the hub for the regional trade and connectivity and will deepen people-to-people exchanges at a wider level, local media reported.

It was reaffirmed in the meeting between Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and CPEC Chairman Lt Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa.

The foreign secretary said that the CPEC was a transformational project, and there was a complete national consensus on CPEC’s indispensability for Pakistan’s 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 [Belt and Road Initiative],” he said. Reviewing the progress of CPEC projects, the foreign secretary maintained that CPEC energy and infrastructure projects had created thousands of jobs and had boosted industrial growth and productivity. It testified to the fact that CPEC’s contribution to strengthening Pakistan’s economic landscape has been real and substantial, he emphasised.

The foreign secretary underlined that Pakistan’s focus in the next phase of CPEC was on industrialisation and socio-economic development, areas that will create vast job and growth opportunities for the common people.

Three out of the nine CPEC SEZs, namely Rashakai, Dhabeji and Allama Iqbal, have been prioritised and Pakistan would welcome foreign direct investment in those projects.

Lt Gen (r) Bajwa underscored that the CPEC Authority was committed to ensuring that CPEC projects were completed on time. He hoped that the 10th JCC, likely to be held in the near future, will create more economic opportunities and contribute to further expansion of CPEC projects. He reaffirmed that Pakistan would welcome the relocation of industry from China and in that regard will institute a regime that could encourage the inflow of Chinese investments to Pakistan.

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The foreign secretary underlined that the government was particularly focused on strengthening agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China.

In that regard, a plan of action, detailing the 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.

Source: The News  https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/755413-post-covid-19-cpec-to-become-trade-hub-says-fo

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