CPEC to fortify Pak-China partnership:Pakistani Prime Minister
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, Nov.8 (Gwadar Pro) - Prime Minister Imran Khan believes China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will fortify the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China.
Speaking to Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reforms Commission Ning Jizhe here Tuesday evening, PM Khan said CPEC “is the top priority” for Pakistan.
“CPEC is pivotal both for Pakistan's economic transformation as well as for further fortifying the Pak-China partnership,” he said.
Among other things, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of ML-1 for modernizing Pakistan's railway system and also invited the NDRC Vice Chairman to explore opportunities in steel industry, copper and gold mining, and increased agricultural productivity.
Imran Khan added the new projects will impart a strong impetus to the 2nd phase of CPEC and usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries for the benefit of the people of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister noted that the Vice Chairman's visit was of great significance as it would help consolidate the gains made during the 1st phase of CPEC and accelerate the implementation of the 2nd phase.
While recalling his recent visit to China, the Prime Minister deeply appreciated the support extended by the Chinese leadership to Pakistan on all issues.
The Vice Chairman NDRC expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him and conveyed cordial greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He reiterated China's commitment to further deepening the Pakistan-China partnership in all fields.
Appreciating the steps taken by Pakistan to enhance coordination and accelerate completion of CPEC projects, he expressed the hope that CPEC will, including through early harvest projects, provide practical benefits to the people of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Planning and Development Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar said Tuesday that Pakistani and Chinese sides had agreed to take forward the cooperation in various sectors under the CPEC.
Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad, he said Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of remained very productive and many decisions have been taken to increase industrial cooperation between both the countries.
In oil and gas sector, he said, investment to the tune of 8 to 10 billion dollars can be attracted in next two to three years and work will be expedited to achieve this goal.
He said discussion was also held in depth by both sides to enhance steel production capacity of Pakistan.
Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said the JCC meeting was fruitful, discussions successful and the agreed framework is promising. He said the JCC had set a new direction for the CPEC.
Yao Jing said the discussions also took place to shift the Chinese manufacturing unit to Pakistan and providing Chinese financing facilities for future projects.
The Chashma Right-Bank, Tonsa Hydro Power and several other projects in Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan were also in the table.