Minister reviews CPEC project after 11th JCC, PM China’s visit.

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Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday reviewed progress over CPEC projects after the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held last month and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s recent visit to China while directed the concerned stakeholders to expedite the implementation of consensus reached between the leadership of Pakistan and China.

The 11th JCC was held in October 27, last month co-chaired by the Professor Ahsan Iqbal & Vice Chairman National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), China Mr Lin Nianxiu in which both the sides had agreed to speedup CPEC projects and subsequently several MoUs were signed during the recent visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to China.

The meeting was attended by the Executive Director China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Chief Economist, Planning Commission and representatives from various ministries. During the meeting, the conveners of the Joint Working Groups JWGs on Energy, Transport Infrastructure, Gwadar, Socio-Economic Development, Security, Long-Term Planning of CPEC, Industrial Cooperation, International Cooperation, Science & Technology, and Agriculture Cooperation apprised the Minister about the progress since the JCC took place.

The Minister directed the officials to expedite the implementation of ML-1 and KCR projects which were agreed in the 11th JCC and remove all the bottlenecks in this regard.

The Minister also directed the Embassy of Pakistan in China to hold a meeting with the Chinese side to follow-up decisions taken in the 11th JCC and in PM’s visit to China. He also asked the Embassy of Pakistan in China to arrange an online meeting with the Vice Chairman, NDRC to review progress on CPEC projects.

CPEC is a vital national project, which has transformed the relation between the two countries into a strong economic partnership, said the Minister, adding that the next phase of CPEC envisages the development of industrial cooperation.

He directed concerned ministries to speed up work on Special Economic Zones SEZs for attracting share from relocation of Chinese Industry to Pakistan with low cost of production.

Ahsan Iqbal also directed the officials to coordinate with the Chinese authorities for the early completion of International Gwadar Airport. “The Gwadar International Airport should be functional before June 2023, ” said the Minister, while directing the relevant stakeholders to engage their counterparts in China so launch could be ensured timely.