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CPEC to help PR improve performance: PM

Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk Tuesday said that with CPEC, there is a huge potential and scope for Pakistan Railways to further improve its performance and increase its share both in passenger as well as freight transportation sector by offer quality services to its customers.

During a briefing about the performance of Pakistan Railway, the prime minister directed that a comprehensive plan would be worked out to overcome the existing challenges for the consideration of the incoming elected government.

The briefing was attended by Minister for Railways Roshan Khursheed Bharucha, Secretary to the PM Suhail Aamir, Secretary Railways Muhammad Javed Anwar and senior officers of Ministry of Railways. The prime minister was informed that as a result of right mix in service the passenger share in Railways has increased from 13percent in 2013 to 31 percent in 2017.

Pakistan Railways recorded a revenue of Rs50 billion in 2017-18 as compared to revenue of Rs15.5 billion in 2011-12.

The prime minister was briefed about organizational structure, rail network, past performance and the future development strategy under National Vision 2025 in the Railways sector.

The prime minister was also briefed about the new business plan and various initiatives taken, both in freight as well as passenger transportation sector, for the revival of Railways and increasing its revenues. The prime minister was also briefed about the progress made in various rail network extension projects under the CPEC.  It was informed that Main Line-1 (ML-1) project from Karachi to Havelian was being upgraded as Early Harvest Project under the CPEC.

It was informed that feasibility study for upgradation of ML-2 (Kotri-Attock) project has also been completed. Similarly, feasibility studies were in progress on extension of ML-2 (Gwadar-Basima-Jacobabad and Basima-Quetta) and extension of ML-3 (Quetta-Bostan-Zhob-DI Khan-Kotlajam) projects.

The prime minister was also apprised about the challenges faced by the organisation including the issue of pension liabilities that contributed to 34 percent of the total expenditure of the organisation.

The prime minister appreciated the performance of Pakistan Railways especially various initiatives taken under the strategic business plan.

SOURCE:https://nation.com.pk/20-Jun-2018/cpec-to-help-pr-improve-performance-pm

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Chinese ambassador meets Caretaker PM, briefs him on CPEC

Ambassador of China Yao Jing, Tuesday, called on Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasirul Mulk and briefed him about the historic friendly relations that existed between China and Pakistan. He was paying a visit to Prime Minister to congratulate him on his assuming office of the prime minister of Pakistan.
The ambassador while congratulating the premiere briefed him about the various projects under the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and informed that these projects were going on fast-track and will be completed on their expected time. Ambassador Yao Jing also conveyed greetings from the Chinese leadership to the Prime Minister on assuming office.
He said that China attached great importance to China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. In recent years, with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Pakistan relations have achieved fruitful results. The CPEC embodies the achievements of the two countries’ mutually beneficial cooperation and marks a new height in China-Pakistan relations.
At the same time, comprehensive exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy, trade, people-to-people exchanges and education have been conducted. The two countries have cooperated closely in international and regional affairs, effectively safeguarding the common interests of both parties. China hopes that Pakistan will maintain political stability and complete major domestic political processes smoothly.
China wishes the caretaker government to successfully organize the election, and hopes that the PM and the caretaker government will continue to promote friendly cooperation between China and Pakistan. China believes that regardless of the outcome of the election, China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership will continue to advance. Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk while expressing his gratitude to the Chinese envoy held that both the countries had the same vision of common prosperity and shared destiny of progress of their people.

SOURCE: https://pakobserver.net/chinese-ambassador-meets-caretaker-pm-briefs-him-on-cpec/

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Peace in IOR important to reap benefits of BRI: PM Abbasi

STAFF REPORT: Institute of Maritime Affairs (IMA) Bahria University, Islamabad, organised the International Maritime Symposium (IMS-2018) in the capital on “Impact of BRI on the Geo-economics of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR): Prospects for Pakistan, the Region and Beyond”. Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was the chief guest on the occasion.

In his address, the prime said in reference to the importance of IOR that the global blue economy footprint showed that a major global trade share came from this region. Given the importance of the Indian Ocean and significance of globalisation, we acknowledge and appreciate the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping for conceptualising and announcing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the economic objectives of connectivity, unimpeded trade, and financial integration, he added.

The potential scope of BRI projects was vast and its financial scale was huge, the PM said. We have to optimise our share in BRI through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and for this, Gwadar Port would play an all-important role, he added.

Furthermore, PM Abbasi also highlighted the enhanced regional economic activity arising from BRI and said this would have a positive impact on the region and beyond. “We are working hard on strategising measures to ensure that both Chabahar and Gwadar ports were utilised as sister ports, so as to diversify and manage the huge potential of CPEC and BRI,” he added.

More importantly, the regional countries could pursue economic initiatives in Afghanistan for prosperity and socio-economic development to ameliorate the trends of extremism and terrorism, he said. This would be a win-win situation for the region and the world at large, he added.

Focusing on maritime concerns, Abbasi said that he was aware of the current security concerns in IOR, adding, “There is a need for collaborative and well-coordinated response mechanism to deal with security threats in order to keep IOR peaceful and economically sound.”

He also commended the role of the armed forces of Pakistan in general and Pakistan Navy in particular for their initiatives to ensure maritime security of the country, especially the security of CPEC and Gwadar port.

In his inaugural address, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi NI (M) in his inaugural address said that the subject was deep-rooted in the remarkable trade history of the region which had transcended various races, cultures and religions.

In the 21st century, the conceived ‘Economic Networking’ through BRI would not only help to revive historical links but also contribute towards economic prosperity of the countries that had renewed transcontinental trade routes connecting Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond.

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Chabahar Port not a challenge for CPEC: PM Abbasi

Islamabad – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said the Iranian Chabahar Port wasn’t a challenge for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding for the regional development, they would have to bring more projects like CPEC.

In his address at the International Maritime Symposium held in Islamabad under the auspices of Bahria University with the theme “Impact of Belt and Road Initiative on Geo-Economics of Indian Ocean Region”, the prime minister said CPEC project spoke volumes about the Pak-China friendship and Chabahar Port.

Khaqan Abbasi underlined the need to work in collaboration with China. He said regional connectivity and trade were inevitable for the development and prosperity.

The prime minister said they had constructed 1200 kilometre-long highways in Balochistan. He said Pakistan’s economy had been strengthening, and the Country’s e growth rate remained about six percent in the current financial year.

Terming the arrangement of International Maritime Symposium very important, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan’s trade was heavily dependent upon sea lanes. He said 40 people of world trade was linked with Pakistan.

The prime minister also remarked that Afghanistan was grappling with security issues.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said despite numerous challenges, Pakistan Navy had formulated a robust strategy to safeguard national maritime interests.

The Naval Chief said the prime minister had approved setting up of a modern shipyard at Gwadar which would contribute significantly to Pakistan’s economy. He said the government was fully alive to Pakistan Navy’s needs and was providing essential support in meeting the emerging security imperatives.

Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said the Ministry of Ports and Shipping had been renamed as the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to broaden its scope.

The Chief of Naval Staff expressed the confidence that Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and CPEC would help realize the goal of the shared prosperity of the region.

 

SOURCE: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/headline/chabahar-port-not-a-challenge-for-cpec-pm-abbasi/

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Chinese top official hails Pakistan’s ‘sincere efforts to resolve Afghan conflict’

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson acknowledged on Monday Pakistan’s efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict, terming these conducive to create enabling environment for regional peace.

In his first visit to Kabul last week, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi agreed on achieving the common aim of regional security through connectivity during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He also extended an invitation to Ghani to visit Pakistan.

“Pakistani Prime Minister Abbasi’s visit to Afghanistan constitutes an important step forward by the two countries towards the improvement of their relations, showcasing their sincere will for and firm confidence in dialogue and cooperation,” Geng Shuang was quoted as saying during the recent press briefing.

PM Abbasi reaches China

“We noted that the two countries reached many consensuses, including on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), advancing the Afghan reconciliation process and enhancing regional connectivity,” he added.

China, the spokesperson maintained, highly commends and firmly supports this and believes it will be conducive to creating enabling environment for solving Afghan conflict and early realisation of peace in Afghanistan and upholding peace and stability of the two countries and this region.

Shuang further said that as a neighbour and friend to both Pakistan and Afghanistan, China stands ready to continue to play a constructive role in improving their relations, promoting cooperation among the three countries and resolving afghan conflict.

Earlier during the morning, PM Abbasi reached China in connection with addressing the Boao Forum Annual Conference for Asia as a keynote speaker. According to the Foreign Office, the conclave has been organised on the theme of an open and innovative Asia for a world of greater prosperity.

 

SOURCE: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1681419/1-chinese-top-official-hails-pakistans-sincere-efforts-resolve-afghan-conflict/

 

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PM lauded for suspending FTA talks with China

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday lauded the decision of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to suspend the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with China.

The decision is praiseworthy as national interests were kept supreme in it on any other consideration, it said. The local business community has also informed the government well before the talks on the second round of FTA that further relaxations to the friendly country will damage the local industry beyond repair.

The Chinese side had refused to give any relaxation to Pakistan which was not expected by our officials, he said, adding that after suspension of talks the Chinese side has shown some flexibility which is good.

Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan and China signed an FTA on Nov 24, 2006, which boosted Pakistani exports to China from $575 million to $2.6 billion while it increased Chinese exports to Pakistan from $3.5 billion to $14 billion resulting in a large deficit.

The losses in trade with China continue to increase by the passage of every year which Pakistani exports continue to slide as China has given more relaxations to other countries.

India and Vietnam have replaced Pakistani products in the Chinese market because Pakistan’s interests were not preferred by the Chinese authorities.

He said under-invoicing by the Chinese exporters has also become a threat to the Pakistani economy which should be tackled.

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/11/pm-lauded-for-suspending-fta-talks-with-china/