Pakistan, China hold first economic committee meeting in 11 years

All weather friends entering the next phase of the CPEC

01:25 PM | 9 Dec, 2021
Pakistan, China hold first economic committee meeting in 11 years

Islamabad and Beijing have vowed to expedite industrial investment as they resumed the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting after a hiatus of 11 years.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan opened the 15th Session of Pakistan-China Joint Economic Committee on Economic, Trade, Scientific & Technical Cooperation with his remarks.

Khan hailed the Chinese government for hosting the 15th Session of JEC after 11 years. The virtual meeting of JEC was co-chaired by Ren Hongbin, Vice Minister of China, and Mian Asad Hayaud Din, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Pakistan.

The ruling party minister while addressing the virtual ceremony said Pakistan and China are entering into the next phase of CPEC, where Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being established.

Minister while emphasizing SEZs said they would be helpful in attracting foreign direct investment, establishing industrial units, creating employment opportunities, and boosting economic activities in the country.

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He also mentioned that operationalization of Gwadar Port will also create momentum in the external trade as China has been our largest trading partner for six consecutive years since 2015. He referred to the bilateral agreement for the establishment of the JEC, signed in 1982, and called it the basis of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

“Pakistan provides a conducive and liberal investment environment to foreign investors and entrepreneurs. All foreign investments are fully protected under Foreign Private Investment Promotion & Protection Act, 1976, and Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992”, the minister said while wooing foreign investors.

He also mentioned that Chinese investors can benefit from the huge potential of Pakistan’s industrial sector. Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and Board of Investment of Pakistan can collaborate with Chinese counterparts for enhancing cooperation in the industrial sector,” he added.

Both sides also discussed matters relating to development projects in the energy, infrastructure, and social sectors.