Pakistan, China agree to make 2019 “A Year of Economic Cooperation Under CPEC”


ISLAMABAD, (DNA) – Pakistan and China have agreed on expediting work by promoting joint ventures and export-led growth under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by declaring 2019 as “year of industrial, socioeconomic and agriculture cooperation”.

Minister for Planning and Development Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing had a meeting on Tuesday regarding the visits of Chinese investors to the country, according to a press release issued by the commission.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Industrial Cooperation, signed during 8th Joint Coordination Committee on CPEC, provides a framework to promote communication on key industries such as textile, petrochemicals and iron and steel, encourages Chinese investors to relocate and explore opportunities of investment in Pakistan,

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest including progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects came under discussion.

Ambassador Yao Jing appreciated that 8th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held in a cordial atmosphere where all deliverables were achieved and the scope of the cooperation was expanded to new avenues.

The Minister highlighted that Pakistan can become an ideal destination for investment in different sectors. He said that the Ministry of Planning will facilitate Chinese investors looking for opportunities under CPEC and create a pull effect.

The Minister highlighted that the government is working on policies that will improve the ease of doing business.

Khusro Bakhtyar said that the first meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Socio-economic development was a major milestone and the action plan discussed therein will support uplift of the less developed areas. Pakistani side has already forwarded invitation letter to China for visit of the expert team.

“Both sides agreed to work out for speedy implementation of initiatives in already identified six areas including agriculture, education, medical treatment, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training projects” he intimated.

The Minister hoped that JWG on Agriculture meeting, scheduled for February 15 next would provide an opportunity to broaden CPEC Cooperation.

He emphasized that Chinese investors should explore investment opportunities in the agriculture sector of  Pakistan for input supplies as well as food production, processing, logistics, marketing and exports in a vertically integrated way on their own or in joint ventures (B2B) with Pakistani companies.

Both the side agreed to ensure that this year Gwadar Projects such as New International Airport, Hospital, and Vocational Institutes will hit the ground within three months as these projects are beneficial for the local population and will, therefore, gain the support and trust of the local population.

Ambassador Yao Jing appreciated the efforts of the Government of Pakistan for facilitating Chinese investors and informed that a large number of Chinese investors would visit Pakistan soon that would further strengthen the bonds of economic and bilateral cooperation.