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CPEC to turn AJK into Pakistan’s ‘economic engine’: Masood

MUZAFFARABAD: 

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed upon the need to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to turn the liberated territory into ‘economic engine’ of Pakistan through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects.

He expressed these views while speaking as chief guest at a conference titled “Special Economic Zone – Future Prospects and Potential”, organised by CPEC Center of Azad Jammu and Kashmir University in collaboration with Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The conference was also addressed by AJK University Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Kalim Abbasi and Director (Strategy) Special Economic Zones Hassan N Ansari among others.

President Masood said that one of the four mega CPEC projects have been completed in AJK while initial planning for two more projects has been worked out. Similarly, work on Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mangla-Mirpur highway would start from the next financial year, he added.

He urged universities, academia and media of the country to effectively counter-negate campaign against the CPEC initiative besides highlighting its socio-economic benefits.

Under the CPEC, nine special economic zones would be established across the country, including one in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir for which 1,185 acres of land has already been identified, said the president, adding that 571 acres of land would be acquired in the first phase and 614 acres in the second.

Sardar Masood Khan said that feasibility study including environmental study, topographic survey and other technical formalities for the Mirpur special economic zone have already been completed and handed over to the Chinese officials. Special incentives have been offered by the AJK government for investment in Mirpur economic zone, he added.

“These incentives include tax-free import of machinery and other equipment, construction of infrastructure, and permission to prospective investors to generate their own electricity to run the industries at local level.”

President Masood said the government has set up a board of investment (BOI) to attract investment by local and foreign investors as well as overseas Kashmiris, and work is in progress on a comprehensive policy to protect capital of the investors and to restore their confidence.

While enumerating challenges and difficulties, the AJK president said that planning is under way to ensure an uninterrupted supply of natural and electricity to the economic zone, setting up a dry port, introduction of e-filing system and establishing a railway link between Dina, Jhelum and Mirpur.

He said that the government was trying to ensure speedy development works in special economic zones, resolve environmental issues on priority basis, and to take on board the local industrialists and small business.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Abbasi shed light on efforts of CPEC center for the projection of economic corridor project. He also paid tributes to President Sardar Masood Khan for effectively highlighting the Kashmir issue at the OIC summit in Makkah.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between China-Pakistan Study Center of ISSI and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir University, under which both the institutions will cooperate with each other in the field of education and research.

Source: Express Tribune

Date: 19/6/2019

Pakistan all set to enter China’s $15bln meat market: food minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to venture into the $12 to 15 billion China’s meat market under the two agreements recently signed with the neighboring country, the food minister said on Wednesday.

The two countries signed two agreements on agricultural cooperation and foot and mouth disease (FMD) free zone during a three days visit (26 to 28 May) of Chinese president to Pakistan.

Minister for National Food Security and Research Mehboob Sultan said the country would move from stage two to stage three towards the control and eradication of FMD by developing FMD free zones in Pakistan.

“This would also open big markets of China and Indonesia for Pakistan meat,” Sultan told media.

China’s annual meat requirement is worth $12 to 15 billion. Currently, meat from Pakistan is exported to Gulf countries, Vietnam and Malaysia.

“The government is focusing on expanding the Pakistan’s meat market and this five years agreement with China will help us achieve the desired results not only in the meat market but in agriculture sector and will be mutually beneficial,” the food minister added.

The purpose of China-Pakistan’s agreement is the establishment of FMD free zone where vaccination would be practiced.

The FMD free zone will be constructed within the territory of Pakistan according to the agreed common requirements of the parties, and the Chinese side would provide technical assistance and support.

Currently, China is the 4th biggest export market of Pakistan. Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers. Despite accounting for only 10 percent of arable land worldwide, it

produces food for 20 percent of the world’s population. Pakistani government is also expecting to get an opportunity to cooperate with China in the field of agriculture at the platform provided by Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

China is further likely to lift three years long ban on import of Pakistani rapeseed meal into China once a protocol proposed by the Chinese government would be signed.

The framework agreement on agricultural cooperation between Pakistan and China would be executed and implemented through the ministry of national food security and research of Pakistan and ministry of agricultural and rural affairs of China.

The agreement holds an important position in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework and promotes cooperation in the areas of mutual interest in the field of agriculture.

The goals set in the agricultural framework agreement would be achieved in next five years and would cover extension services of agricultural technology and inputs, remote sensing and geographical information system and food processing and pre-and-post-harvest handling.

The agreement also covers storage of agricultural produce, genetic resources of crops, livestock and poultry, selection and breeding of new breeds of animals and new varieties of plants, feed fisheries and aquaculture, research and development of new high-yield varieties, precision agriculture and pest and disease control.

Source: The News

Date: May 30, 2019

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Chinese Vice President visits Haier Industrial Park Lahore

The Vice President of China Mr. Wang Qishan was accorded a red-carpet welcome when he arrived at Haier Industrial Park in a landmark visit to the sprawling facility that is widely seen as a shining example of Pak China economic cooperation. The Vice President was accompanied by the Chief Minster, Punjab Mr. Usman Buzdar, the Punjab Minister for Commerce, Industry & Investment, Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal and other senior government officials.

The distinguished visitor was received by top ranking officials of Haier China who had earlier arrived in Pakistan to oversee arrangements for according the Vice President a most memorable welcome. Also, on hand to receive the distinguished visitor was Executive President and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Haier Group, Mr. Liang Haishan, V.P. Global Appliances Haier Group, CEO of SEA & SA Mr. Song Yujun, General Manager Haier Pakistan Mr. Li Dapeng, CEO Haier & Ruba Manufacturing (HNR) Mr. Javed Afridi & Chairman JW SEZ Group Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi.

This is the fourth time for a high ranking and most distinguished visitor to tour Haier Industrial Park. Previously Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in 2005, President Hu Jintao in 2006 and Prime Minister Imran Khan in May 2019 have visited Haier Industrial Park which has since been hailed as the most successful model of industrial and economic cooperation between Chinese companies and Pakistani entrepreneurs. The Vice President was conducted on a tour of the factory by Haier’s top brass.

The Haier Industrial Park is a sprawling facility in Lahore with a 1.6-million unit per annum designed capacity to manufacture, assemble and produce high end home appliances and electronics. These include refrigerators, deep freezers, air conditioners, fully automatic and semi-automatic washing machines and LED TVs.

The Haier Industrial Park and degree of success it has achieved has brought many benefits for both countries. For Pakistan, Haier Industrial Park has created jobs for several thousand professional, skilled and non-skilled workers, has given the country a high-quality manufacturing base for home appliances and consumer electronics with future export potential, and most importantly given Pakistan access to R&D and technology transfer. Chinese home appliances and consumer electronics have found ready acceptance in Pakistan with Pakistani consumers voting with their money to make Haier the #1 brand in Pakistan. This is in line with Haier’s leadership position in the global market which Haier dominates with a 10.5% share in terms of volume sales.

Mr. Wang Qishan’s visit to Pakistan, seen as part of the increased high-level contacts between the two countries, will further deepen Pak China economic ties.

Source: The News

Date: 28th May, 2019

China to solarise 10,000 households in Balochistan

ISLAMABAD  –   China has agreed to provide grant for the solarization of 10,000 households in Balochistan, establishment of five burn centres across the country, provide 20,000 scholarships to Pakistani students along with other two dozen projects under the CPEC socio-economic development cooperation.

China has agreed to provide of one billion dollars for CPEC socio economic development cooperation to Pakistan and in the first phase both the countries have shortlisted 27 projects to be funded with China aid.

The agreement related to CPEC socio economic development cooperation was signed in April last during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China for participation in the Belt and Road Forum. Pakistan and China have shortlisted 27 projects to be funded with China aid under CPEC socio economic development cooperation. The 27 shortlisted projects will be executed under the first phase of CPEC socio economic development cooperation, said the source.

Under the MoU in agriculture sector Bacterial Grass (JunCao) technology training and promotional project will be initiated, the official source told The Nation here Sunday.

Under the project, China will establish Bacterial Grass technology training and promotional centres at different suitable locations in Pakistan.

China will provide experts to conduct a preliminary research with Pakistan, said the source.

Under the agreed MoU, China will provide Pakistan agriculture and scientific training on mouth and foot disease, animal husbandry, cotton, fruit and vegetables processing, the source maintained.

In the education sector, four projects have been agreed which include provision of advanced teaching equipment for primary and secondary schools projects.

Under the project, China will provide teaching equipments and tools for 50 primary and secondary schools at district, tehsil and village level. The equipment and tools includes smart boards, interactive white boards, multimedia, computers, tablet computers, furniture and printers.

Under another project of education sector, China has agreed to provide 50 to 100 smart classrooms to the universities in Pakistan. The project for the maintenance and renovation of around 50 schools in the merged FATA districts is also part of the MoU.

Under the education sector cooperation china has agreed for the provision of 20,000 scholarships to Pakistani students.

In the medical field, seven projects have been shortlisted which include provision of equipment to 30 hospitals in Pakistan, construction of a hospital at Gwadar, cold chain equipment and transportation equipment and establishment of medical emergency center in Balochistan.

Under the medical cooperation, China has agreed to construct 20-bed burn centres each in Sindh, Balochistan and KP, while 10-bed burn centres will be established each in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan. The China-Pakistan joint telemedicine network will be established in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

In poverty alleviation sector, four projects will be funded which include provision of solar lighting equipment to 10,000 households in Balochistan, poverty alleviation courses, provision of emergency relief supplies for enhancing NDMA and the China-Pakistan rural poverty reduction joint research project.

In water supply field, two projects will be funded which include the provision of drinking water equipments to 800 water supply sites in KP, provision of water purification equipments to AJK and construction of 5000 tons desalination plant at Gwadar Special Economic Zone.

In the vocational sector, five projects will be funded which include Pakistan vocational schools upgrading and renovation of 50 schools across Pakistan, vocational  and technical education capacity build-up project, Gwadar vocational and technical school project, cooperative project with Pak-Austria Fachhochschule institute of Applied Science and Technology and Punjab-Tianjin University of Technology projects.

These projects were shortlisted during the visit of the Chinese experts group to Pakistan.

The Chinese delegation headed by Du Zhenli, comprising of 13 experts from socio economic development field had visited Pakistan in February last. China has agreed to extend a grant of one billion dollars for the socio economic development under CPEC and the projects in six identified areas will be funded through the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).

The provinces and regions had submitted around 100 projects to the Chinese experts to secure grant for the socioeconomic development under CPEC. The projects submitted by the provinces and AJK related to agriculture, fisheries, livestock, health, solarization of water supply schemes, telemedicine, smart schools.

Source: The Nation

Date: 28/5/2019

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PM Khan, Chinese VP launch four mega CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan Sunday launched four mega development projects in the fields of energy, technology, and education under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The dignitaries unveiled the plaques of the four projects at a ceremony held here in the capital during the three-day visit of the Chinese VP. It was also attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, and members of the Chinese delegation.

Under the first project, a transmission line of 660kv would be laid between Matiari and Lahore to transmit power from coal-based plants located at Thar, Port Qasim, and Hub. It would have the capacity to supply 2000 MW with 10 percent overloaded capability for two hours.

The two leaders unveiled the plaque for Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) project to promote industrialization through optimally priced, world-class industrial infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The RSEZ is situated centrally in the CPEC at the junction of Karakoram Corridor and ML-1 development corridor. It is set to become — and will be designed — to be the key trade and logistics hub connecting Kashgar, Kabul, and Gwadar on the Belt and Road and a high-end host of international commercial, technological, and manufacturing hub.

The two leaders inaugurated the Confucious Institute at the University of Punjab. The institute mainly provides Chinese education, cultural promotion and exchanges, and other projects and activities.

The ceremony also marked the launching of Huawei Technical Support Center to be established in Pakistan as part of Chinese tech giant’s commitment to make massive investment in Pakistan.

‘Institutional, public support’

President Dr Arif Alvi said Sunday the two friendly nations were linked by deep historical and cultural ties and the ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ enjoyed unanimous institutional and strong public support.

In a meeting with Wang who called on him at the President House, Alvi congratulated him on 70 years of the establishment of China. Foreign Minister Qureshi and Planning Minister Bakhtiar and members of the Chinese delegation attended the meeting.

The president said both the countries supported each other on issues of their core interest. Recalling PM Khan’s visit to China in April 2019, he said it constituted an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations.

Lauding President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road (BRI) Initiative, he underscored the CPEC’s importance for Pakistan’s national development and reiterated the resolve for its expeditious completion. He also expressed the determination to further deepen economic and trade relations for mutual benefit.

Expressing satisfaction at growing cultural ties between the two countries, he stressed that people-to-people relations were bedrock of bilateral friendship as they augmented bilateral engagements in other spheres of two-way ties.

The president also lauded China’s constructive role in promotion of peace and stability in the region. They exchanged views on the recent developments in South Asia.

Reciprocating the warm sentiments, the Chinese VP conveyed the Chinese leadership’s greetings and noted that the bilateral relationship continued to grow.

He emphasised that bilateral ties were rooted in mutual trust, mutual understanding, and shared principles, and reaffirmed China’s steadfast support for Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts.

The vice president, who arrived here on a three-day visit, also expressed his satisfaction at the growing bilateral economic and cultural ties and assured China’s support in advancing Pakistan’s national development goals.

He also appreciated the smooth progress of the CPEC projects.

Highest civil award conferred on Chinese VP

President Alvi also conferred the highest civil award of the country, Nishan-e-Pakistan, on the Chinese VP to recognise his services in promoting the Sino-Pak ties.

The award was conferred at a special investiture ceremony at the President House attended by Senate chair, services chiefs, members of the federal cabinet, parliamentarians, and diplomats.

Wang signed agreements between the two neighbouring states to further enhance bilateral ties. He is an ardent supporter of Pak-China friendship and has played a pivotal role in spearheading the revolutionary agenda of President Xi.

Date: 27/5/2019

Source: Geo News

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China fires back at US with tariff hike on goods worth $60bn

BEIJING: China said on Monday it will raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods from June 1, in retaliation for the latest round of US tariff hikes and Washington’s plans to target almost all Chinese imports.

The announcement came after the latest round of US-China trade negotiations ended on Friday without a deal, and after Washington increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

US President Donald Trump had also ordered the start of a process to impose new duties on another $300bn worth of Chinese items.

China’s rates will target a number of American imports with tariffs rising up to as high as 25pc, according to a statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council — China’s cabinet.

“China’s adjustment of tariff-adding measures is a response to US unilateralism and trade protectionism,” the statement said, adding that it hoped the US would work with China towards a “win-win agreement”.

Despite the retaliation, Beijing appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date.

The announcement sent Wall Street stocks plunging Monday, with losses on the tech-rich Nasdaq exceeding three percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 2.3pc, and the broad-based S&P 500 tumbling 2.4pc.

Most observers have warned a trade war between the world’s two largest economies could shatter global economic growth, and hurt demand for commodities like oil.

The Chinese response was announced soon after Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate.

“China should not retaliate-will only get worse!” the US president wrote in a series of tweets on trade.

But Beijing appeared to dig in.

“China will never surrender to external pressure,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular briefing on Monday.

In addition to tariff hikes, China could also use other measures to hit back at the United States, as it imports fewer US products — which limits its ability to match tariffs dollar-for-dollar.

“China may stop purchasing US agricultural products and energy, reduce Boeing orders and restrict US service trade with China,” Hu Xijin, editor of China’s state-run Global Times, wrote on his verified Twitter account.

“Many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping US Treasuries and how to do it specifically.” Beijing is the biggest holder of US debt, and Bloomberg News estimated last year that the Chinese state held around $1.2tr’s worth.

“As for the trade war launched by the US side, China has long expressed that it is unwilling to fight, but it is not afraid to fight, and it has to fight when necessary,” China’s main broadcaster, the state-run CCTV, added.

Date: 14/5/2019

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan sets up committee to review ML-I project

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan has set up an Implementation Committee for the multibillion dollar Mainline-I (ML-I) project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to review the possibility of reducing its scope and cost from the existing $8.2 billion aimed at making it financially viable.

The decision was taken by Cabinet Committee on CPEC, on Wednesday, which was chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtyar. It was decided to split the project into more than two phases and also drop some sections that were part of the original plan of constructing 1,872 kilometre long line of Pakistan Railways.

The original plan was to construct the road between Peshawar and Karachi in two phases. The project faces over three years of delay. The cabinet committee discussed the Pakistan Railways ML-1 project in detail, said Bakhtyar while speaking to media-persons after the meeting

“An implementation committee, headed by the railways minister was constituted to identify financial savings, phasing of the project, scope etc within two weeks in order to fast-track the project,” he added.  The minister said that the final decision would be made in light of the committee  recommendations.

According to the proposal, the project should be completed in more than two phases besides dropping some sections and reducing the scope of other sections. Due to change in scope, the phase-I of the project could cost around $2 billion as against Pakistan’s earlier estimate of $3.4 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning officials. The Chinese consultants calculated the cost of the first phase at $4.1 billion.

The ML-I project has a total length of 1,872 kilometres.

The previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had decided to split the project into two due to its high cost and extensive work that requires refurbishment and expansion of the main railway line. The project’s initial cost of $8.2 billion was based on a joint feasibility study, which was not backed by a technical design study.

The cabinet committee also discussed the possibility of financing some parts of the ML-I from the Public Sector Development Programme to lower reliance on Chinese financing.

According to the framework agreement for the ML-I, China was supposed to provide 85% of the project cost as a concessionary loan. The project has been declared strategically important by both the countries.

Bakhtyar said that the proposal to construct the ML-I project on Build Operate Transfer model has been shelved and now it will be completed on governmentto-government basis, as per the framework agreement.

In order to address the issues of under development and deprivation in Balochistan, the cabinet committee also decided to initiate work on western route projects on a priority basis. The federal government would perform the ground-breaking ceremony of one western route road project this month, announced the minister. He did not disclose the name of the project.

The minister also announced that the groundbreaking ceremony of New Gwadar International Airport will finally be performed this month. The project that faces over a two-year delay will be completed with Chinese grant. The committee also decided to fast-track work on Gwadar power plant. The planning minister said that it was decided that the missing link of eastern corridor will also be completed by starting work on Sukkur Hyderabad Motorway.  The project will be completed on Build Operate Transfer model that will help save $2.5 billion,  said Bakhtyar.

The National Highway Authority will complete the design as well as feasibility of the project and award of the contract will be done in 2019, he added.

Bakhtyar said the cabinet committee also gave the final approval for CPEC Business Forum that will be chaired by the federal minister for planning and development.

The forum will comprise 21 members with representatives from government and private sectors. The cabinet committee has approved six priority sectors for availing $1 billion Chinese grant for social sector over a  period of three years, said Bakhtyar.

The minister said that agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training sectors have been finalised in consultation with the provincial governments. “The socio-economic development is very critical for equitable development and we would try to avail $500 million grant during the first year,” said the planning minister.

A memorandum of understanding on socio-economic development would be signed to ensure early implementation of the projects. The cabinet committee also approved cooperation areas in the agriculture sector days before a meeting of CPEC Joint Working Group on Agricultural meeting. Both the countries would find possibilities of co-branding and joint ventures in supply chains, said Bakhtyar.

The minister informed that a Chinese experts’ team visited Pakistan and different level of discussions were held at federation and provinces.

Bakhtyar said that no headways was achieved in industrial cooperation sector over the last five years; however, the present government prioritised this field by ensuring speedy implementation wherein concession agreement of Special Economic Zone at Rashakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be signed by March 25, while ground-breaking would be made in April.

Source: Express Tribune

Date: 13th March 2019

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Pak-China cooperation in agriculture to be extended under CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have decided to expedite cooperation in the field of agriculture under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and an important meeting in this regard is expected to be held next month, an official in Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform said.

The official said that the cooperation was being extended with a special focus on boosting cooperation in the areas of climate change, desertification control, desalination, water management, afforestation and ecological restoration, wetland protection and restoration, wildlife protection, forestry industry development, disaster management and risk reduction and other areas of mutual interest.

“A subgroup of CPEC agriculture sector has been elevated to a full-fledged joint working group and its meeting is planned to be held next month,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said that a team of Chinese Socio-Economic Development experts was visiting Pakistan in the last week of the current month to finalize the projects and their sites in already agreed six different areas under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) including health, education, water supply, vocational training, poverty alleviation and agriculture.

To a question he said work on all the CPEC projects was going on in a smooth way none of the CPEC projects is facing delay; rather Pakistan and China are agreed on the future trajectory of the CPEC and timely completion of its on-going projects.

For future, he said joint efforts are underway, focusing on socio-economic development and accelerating cooperation in industrial development as well as agriculture.

The MoU on the formation of JWG on Socio-economic development and MoU on Poverty Reduction has been signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China in November this year, the official added.

Recognizing the significance of Gwadar as an important node in cross-regional connectivity and the central pillar of CPEC, he said Pakistan and China have agreed to speed up the progress on the port and its auxiliary projects.

The groundbreaking of New Gwadar Airport, vocational institute and hospital are planned in the 1st quarter of this year.

Gwadar Master Plan is being prepared and it is in the final stages of formulation.

Huge investment is expected in the petrochemical sector at Gwadar, he said.

Besides, he said Pakistan and China have expedited the work on industrial cooperation under CPEC and the government has expedited development of economic zones by prioritizing Rashakai, Dhabajhi Faisalabad and ICT SEZs with a vision to make 2019 as a year of industrial development under CPEC.

Source: The News

Date: Feb 12, 2019

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Obortunity and National Defence University (NDU) join hands to present the first International CPEC Workshop (ICPECW), spanning Beijing, Islamabad and Gwadar

Islamabad: With the upcoming completion of Phase 1 of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by end 2019, Phase 2 “Industrial Cooperation” is picking up speed. It is powered by rapidly developing public and private Special Economic Zones (SEZs), industrial relocation from China, attracting FDI into Pakistan, and growing opportunities for trade through new products and markets.

Obortunity, Pakistan’s premier CPEC-focused firm, and National Defence University (NDU) are organizing an International CPEC Workshop (ICPECW), a 2.5 weeks international learning and networking platform on CPEC, spanning Beijing, Islamabad and Gwadar. ICPECW will be held in Beijing, Islamabad and Gwadar from 17th April – 3rd May 2019.

ICPECW will bring participants up-to-speed on the key areas and challenges of CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to the point where they can conceive and implement solutions. Participants will build a network of key public and private sector individuals, in China and Pakistan. They will see for themselves where CPEC stands and where it is headed. And they will be able to rapidly formulate and implement their own strategy of benefiting from CPEC, a unique economic opportunity for Pakistan and the region.

To ensure the success of Phase 2 of CPEC, intense involvement of the private sector is required, and ICPECW promises to herald this new era. Government to government collaboration conceived CPEC, and with the private sector as a partner, built the foundations focusing on transport infrastructure, Gwadar Port and electricity generation. Now, “industrial cooperation” depends on the successful development and population of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), significant industrial relocation from China and accelerated industrialization.

In addition, the PTI government wishes to include technologically empowered and corporate agriculture; the social sector and media and telecommunications in CPEC. For these transformations to succeed, a leading role for the private sector, academia and civil society is needed. ICPECW provides an opportunity to facilitate this change of focus, besides serving as a timely crash-course on CPEC for those players who had earlier stood on the sidelines, and now wish to get significantly involved.

The organizers of ICPECW would like it to be a landmark recurring annual event which the CPEC community looks forward to. The diverse scope, extensive networking opportunities and rigorous brainstorming planned indicate that an established branded CPEC event is in the making.

More Information:

ICPECW is a joint initiative by Obortunity, Pakistan’s premier CPEC-focused firm, and National Defence University, an apex institute on national security, international relations and defence. For more information, please email us at icpecw@obortunity.org or cpecw@ndu.edu.pk; or call  Mr Maaz Qureshi, Director Operations, Obortunity Consulting +923339628605.

Important Links:

ICPECW Complete Information: https://obortunity.org/cpec-events/icpecw/

ICPECW Informational Flyer: https://ndu.edu.pk/temp/issra/ICPECW/cpec.jpg

ICPECW Application Form: https://ndu.edu.pk/temp/issra/ICPECW/ICPECW-Application-Form.pdf

ICPECW Scope Document: https://ndu.edu.pk/temp/issra/ICPECW/ICPECW-scope.pdf

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New Pakistani visa regime indicative of an open, confident, and secure Pakistan: Chinese ambassador

Source: China Daily

Date: 31/1/2019

The new visa regime announced by the Government of Pakistan is indicative of an open, confident and secure Pakistan. H.E Mr. Yao Jing, the Ambassador of China to Pakistan said this in a meeting with Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting here today.

“We are happy to see that Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s Government is guiding strong bilateral relations between the two countries in a positive direction’’, he said.

The ambassador also appreciated the personal efforts of Information Minister in promoting culture and films to project the positive image of Pakistan.

The ambassador of China said this year China would allow screening of selected Pakistani feature films in Chinese cinemas, which would promote people to people contact between the two countries.

The information minister highly appreciated the endeavor and informed the ambassador that Pakistan is participating in 9th International Beijing Film Festival. The minister said it was high time to broaden the cooperation between the two countries by exchanging information and co-producing feature films.

Ch. Fawad Hussain, also sought China’s assistance in establishing a technical media institute as part of the Media University, the government envisages to establish soon.

The ambassador informed the minister that under the next phase of CPEC both China and Pakistan would focus on joint ventures in special economic zones and social sector projects including health, education, water resources, and poverty alleviation.

While emphasizing the significance of transfer of technology, the minister reiterated that government accords importance to local production of goods with a view to boost indigenous industry particularly in field of media.