Pakistan vows to enhance cooperation on CPEC projects

Ahsan Iqbal chairs meeting of JCC on CPEC in Islamabad

"We have noted the relevant reports", Kang responded, adding that CPEC was a new type of cooperation framework between China and Pakistan for across-the-board cooperation, in particular the long-term development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in a broad sense. "China wants to engage other countries in the economic corridor too", Chinese foreign official Chen Feng told a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in Beijing last week.

The meeting, which was held at the Bayi Military Building in Beijing, was presided over by General Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission (CMC) from the Chinese side and Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, Army's Chief of General Staff from the Pakistani side.

The representatives of private sector including trader and industry chambers also participated in the meeting for the first time.

Ahsan Iqbal expressed the confidence that industrial cooperation under CPEC would lead towards transfer of technology, expertise and knowledge to Pakistan for promoting knowledge-based economy.

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He said that CPEC had now entered into the first phase of its completion and 7th JCC was of historical significance to finalize the long-term plan of project.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has emphasized the need to further intensify cooperation on all CPEC projects including those related to human development and livelihood, education and health to ensure trickle down benefit to the common man.

The official said the $3.5 billion Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project was also unlikely to be cleared for inclusion in the CPEC at this stage because of some unsettled issues between the two countries. He underlined the need for expansion in the administrative structure and scope of cooperation in CPEC.

Talking about Gwadar, Iqbal said that projects in Gwadar were of utmost importance for the people of the area as well as national development. He said most of the energy projects under CPEC are successfully moving towards culmination. The establishment of special economic zones would now start after 7th JCC, which is the hallmark of this project.

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