ISLAMABAD (News Desk): The 2nd phase of CPEC was very important for Pakistan as it would give boost to industrial cooperation and establish many Special Economic Zones in Pakistan creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs of both countries to set up JVs and investment in areas of interest. This was stated by Prof Dr Song Zhihui, Senior Researcher on One Belt One Road project and Deputy Dean of International Studies, Sichuan University while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He was accompanied by Kashif M. Khan, Managing Director, Global Entrepreneurship Network, Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Song Zhihui said that the first phase of CPEC focused on energy and infrastructure development in Pakistan while the 2nd phase would focus on industrial cooperation that would yield beneficial results for the economy of Pakistan.
He said that many companies of China were interested to invest in Pakistan and set up factories here as Pakistan was a best place for them. He said he wanted to organize a tourism promotion conference for Pakistan to highlight its tourism potential. He said China wanted to enhance its imports from Pakistan that would increase Pakistan’s exports.
He said ICCI should cooperate in connecting right partners with Chinese counterparts in SEZs and in other sectors. Addressing the delegation, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that establishment of SEZs in Pakistan under CPEC would start a new phase of business opportunities in our country and stressed that Chinese companies should come to Pakistan with technology transfer for JVs and investment. He said that due to rising population and emerging market, many sectors of Pakistan’s economy offered great potential for investment and Chinese companies should take benefit of this emerging opportunities. He said that by investing in Pakistan, Chinese companies would be able to meet the needs of local market and export surplus products to many countries including Middle East, Central Asia and other regions. He assured that ICCI would extend all possible cooperation to Chinese companies for finding right partners in Pakistan. Rafat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI and others also spoke at the occasion and highlighted the potential areas of cooperation between the enterprises of both countries. Both sides discussed prospects for further strengthening business collaboration between the two countries for achieving win-win outcomes.
Earlier, Balochistan government has decided to initiate various development and public welfare projects in Gwadar, besides expediting the work on water projects to resolve the longstanding issue of drinking water in the city. Talking to APP, an official of the Balochistan government said that it was the provincial government plans to initiate the development and renovation work to improve the old structure of the Gwadar city and added the provincial government had allocated a huge amount to construct and rehabilitate the roads in the area. He said the government would construct East-bay Expressway as the road is the main artery of Gwadar Port through which the entire traffic of port will flow. The objective of East-bay Expressway is providing primary connectivity of the port with the network of National Highways. With the construction of roads, the fishermen would get easy access to the port and would get swift route to transfer their hunted fish to the market, h added. He said local and foreign investors would be welcomed at Gwadar Port Free Zone to establish their fish processing plants as a Chinese company was already establishing a Cold Storage and Fish Processing Plant in the zone.
The Balochistan government would restructure and establish latest hospital in Gwadar to ensure health facilities to the people. He said the previous governments had developed the city on papers and nothing was done on ground. Today the situation was different. The incumbent government had finally prepared the Gwadar Master Plan with the consensuses of all the stakeholders, including the GDA and the local parliamentarians. Under the Gwadar Master Plan, he said, the local population would not be dislocated as the old city would also be developed. He said Gwadar was facing power crisis as at present it was getting a limited electricity supply from Iran. The area would be connected with the National Grid within two years, he added. Earlier, Pakistan and China have decided to expedite work on the western route in the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. The understanding came during a meeting between the Chinese delegation headed by its Transport Minister and Minister for Communications Murad Saeed in Islamabad today (Saturday).
It was decided to construct 1270 kilometer of roads on the western route in the second phase. The road infrastructure will be constructed from Gilgit to Chitral and D. I. Khan to Zhob. The Chinese Transport Minister said CPEC will benefit the future generations of both Pakistan and China.
He said leadership of both the countries have expressed commitment for timely completion of CPEC related projects. In his remarks, Murad Saeed said it is priority of government to remove all sorts of obstacles in way of completion of corridor project. He said CPEC will create job opportunities and give a boost to the infrastructure and economy. Murad Saeed said China is a role model regarding economic development and poverty alleviation. Meanwhile, Pakistan and China held the 7th meeting of JWP on Transport Infrastructure and signed the agreed minutes here on Friday.
Pakistan’s Federal Secretary for Communications Jawad Rafique Malik and China’s Chief Planner of Ministry of Transport Wang Zhiqing signed the minutes, a press release said. Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed and senior officers of the ministry and National Highway Authority were also present.
The Chinese delegation, led by Wang Zhiqing, also called on Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed. While welcoming the delegation, the minister highlighted importance of the JWG Forum and its effectiveness in implementation of CPEC infrastructure development projects. Murad Saaed acknowledged and appreciated the hard work, dedication and professional competence of Chinese engineers and their workers. He expressed his commitment and resolve for removing the impediments in timely completion of the CPEC infrastructure projects, which would help create more job opportunities and give a boost to local business, the minister informed about the establishment of CPEC Authority.