7TH JCC APPROVED LONG-AWAITED PROJECT OF KCR, CHINA TO APPOINT EXPERTS TO EVALUATE SEZS
ISLAMABAD: The 7th ministerial-level meeting of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) finally approved the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2014-2030 and concerned authorities of both countries signed the LTP agreement here on Tuesday.
The important meeting held at a local hotel in Islamabad was jointly chaired by Pakistan’s Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China Vice-Chairman Wang Xiatao. At least 150 high-level officials from both the countries attended the meeting, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and Punjab Minister for Planning and Development Malik Nadeem Kamran and others.
Talking to media after the daylong meeting of JCC, Ahsan Iqbal said the CPEC forum also approved the long waited for Karachi Circular Railway project in Karachi. However, he said China will be appointing experts to evaluate the feasibility reports of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being set up in four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan.
He informed that both countries have agreed to form joint committees on agriculture and information technology to enhance cooperation in the said sectors. Under the agreed terms, China will be transferring agricultural technology to Pakistan. He further said that Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the Gawadar Express bay on Wednesday. He said JCC has also discussed the airport at Gawadar on which work will be started by next year.
Ahsan Iqbal stated that CPEC projects would not only lead to the physical development of Energy and Infrastructure Projects, it will also result in the transfer of technology and knowledge building of the human capital of Pakistan. The minister remarked while addressing the 7th JCC that next phase of CPEC will pave way for rapid industrialisation all over Pakistan leading to the generation of countless socioeconomic opportunities for the people of Pakistan
He said presently projects worth $ 27 billion were under implementation through the CPEC programme. He informed that all those projects of which feasibility reports were presented in 6th JCC have been approved in the 7th JCC.
He stated that due to government’s relentlessness majority of the energy and infrastructure projects under CPEC are already completed or near completion which is unprecedented and worthy of appreciation.
He stated that positive externalities of CPEC projects are visible all over Pakistan; historically untapped resources of Balochistan for the first ever are being channelled into development projects which will transform Pakistan’s future for the better.
The minister apprised the participants of the 7th JCC Meeting that the representatives of Private Bussiness Sector of Pakistan are also a part of the Meeting because the government is committed to ensuring inclusiveness at all levels.
Ahsan Iqbal urged the Chinese Counterparts to expedite the finalisation of the frameworks for execution of the infrastructure projects which can be materialised soon.
He strongly advocated Pakistan’s case to his Chinese Counterparts to capture further FDI and Concessional Loans for Development in Pakistan from China by stating that CPEC is mutually beneficial to Pakistan and China strategically, economically, socially and politically
He pointed out that 7th JCC Meeting is of immense importance because in its aftermath the process of establishment of Industrial and Economic Zones will start all over Pakistan. He said the priority should be given to the recommendations given by the provinces so that there should not be any grievances.