CPEC

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday chaired a meeting to review progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and set targets for short to mid-term phase, focusing on cooperation in industrial, socio-economic, agriculture and development of Gwadar.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar briefed the participants on the outcome of the 8th CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee meeting and progress on the projects.

It was decided to make the period as a phase of industrial cooperation, socio-economic and agriculture sector development. Timelines for the development of prioritized SEZs (Special Economic Zones) were finalized to ensure ground breaking in first half of 2019, a press release issued by the PM Media Office said.

The PM directed to make full use of Chinese investors’ visits this year, promote awareness amongst investors on Pakistan’s tax policies, market SEZs aligned with its development and ensure ease of doing business.

It was directed that a timeline base policy on provision of utilities to SEZs be prepared at the earliest.

It was also decided to promote joint ventures in petrochemicals, iron and steel, food and agriculture.

The premier instructed to form a CPEC Business Advisory Council consisting of leading Pakistani business executives to create an interface with the private sector.

PM Imran instructed that development of the corridor should continue with priority to the development of Western Route. It was emphasized that infrastructure development needs a policy of pragmatism and due financial diligence.

In the same spirit, a high-level committee comprising of Ministers for Planning, Railways and Finance was formed to finalize modalities on Pakistan Railways ML-1, the strategic project of CPEC.

The PM directed that Pakistan side should finalize roadmap for promoting agriculture sector, inviting Chinese companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and leverage agro value chains.

He directed that the development of Gwadar should be planned as a smart port city to make it a trans-shipment and petrochemical hub.