ISLAMABAD (News Desk): China has asked Pakistan to convene the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting under the CPEC framework ahead of its schedule in order to finalise different mega projects, including railways Mainline (ML-1) of $9.2 billion before the arrival of President Xi Jinping to Islamabad. China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) has sent out official communication for asking the Pakistani side to convene the 10th JCC meeting in April 2020, instead of its scheduled time to be held in June/July in the wake of upcoming visit of President Xi Jinping. The president of China is scheduled to visit Pakistan soon after upcoming Ramadan and Eidul Fitr. Now the PTI-led government has notified the ministerial committee under chairmanship of Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar for making arrangements for the upcoming scheduled visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Islamabad in end May or early June 2020. The 9th JCC meeting held in November 2019 in Islamabad and it was expected that the next 10th JCC will be held in China probably in coming June/July this year. It was unexpected for Pakistani side when they received official communication from Chinese side about holding of proposed JCC ahead of its scheduled timeframe. Now the government will kick-start preparation for finalising feasibilities and reports of different projects for inclusion in second phase of CPEC. When sent out questions to Minister for Planning Asad Umar, he replied back and told this scribe that the next JCC would be held earlier in April 2020 so that both sides could finalise second phase projects of CPEC ahead of scheduled visit of Chinese president. He said that the modernisation of rail line from Peshawar to Karachi with approximate cost of $9.2 billion would be among other projects that would be executed under the second phase of CPEC. He said that the government would convene meeting next week to firm up list of projects that would be executed through CPEC. Pakistan and China so far executed $29 billion projects under CPEC for energy and infrastructure projects and most of the projects were either completed or nearing completion. Meanwhile, responding to the statement of US Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Alice Wells on CPEC, spokesperson for Ministry of Planning, Development and special Initiatives said that CPEC projects under the overarching umbrella of BRI is a well-thought-out initiative involving mega development projects for the economic and social development of Pakistan. The projects completed so far in Phase-1 have already brought relief and started yielding dividends and tangible socio-economic benefits. CPEC projects will accelerate the pace of development in the country boosting economic growth and ensuring ultimate prosperity for the people of Pakistan. Pakistan being a sovereign state exercises the right to choose economic partners from around the globe on mutually beneficial basis. All related projects are being pursued as per laws and regulations of Pakistan and through an institutional mechanism wherein transparency is a priority consideration. Necessary due diligence with all financial implications is being undertaken before finalisation of any projects. Pakistan’s debt sustainability strategy has an endorsement of international financial institutions, it concluded. Senior representatives from the ACCA are in Davos for promoting investment opportunities in Pakistan in emerging sectors such as shared services and outsourcing, pushing for sustainable business practices and focusing on the value of the accountancy profession in Pakistan and beyond at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting on January 21-24 in Switzerland. According to a press release issued here on Thursday, the ACCA’s head of Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, Global head of public affairs, Anthony Walters, Council Member Ayla Majid FCCA, senior ACCA member Kabeer Naqvi FCCA, and the CEO of its Approved Learning Partner, TMUC, Chaudhry Faisal Mushtaq are among the key profiles representing ACCA, in addition to partner employers from Pakistan, including the Founder of Akhuwat Foundation, Dr Amjad Saqib, Wajid Mirza, Partner, Arthur Lawrence, and Irfan Muneer, Director, Din Leather (Pvt) Ltd. Sajjeed Aslam is building conversations at various events in Davos-Klosters elaborating Pakistan’s potential for becoming a hub of global outsourcing and Shared Service Centres, as well as sharing the exciting economic opportunities resulting from the ongoing and planned projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Sajjeed emphasised that Pakistan is home to 4th fastest growing freelance community, and we have the 6th largest pool of engineers, finance professionals trained on global standards, and talented IT experts positioning Pakistan perfectly for becoming a hub for Shared Services.Ayla Majid is scheduled to moderate a high profile panel discussion on global risks and environmental challenges under the theme ‘How to Save the Planet’ featuring contributions from global leaders. Ayla Majid is part of World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Energy and has written extensively on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. In addition to engagements at the main event, ACCA is participating at the Pakistan Pavilion set up by the Pathfinder Group and Martin Dow. Under the leadership of Ikram Sehgal and Ali Akhai, Pakistan Pavilion is hosting influential world leaders and policy makers and engaging them on numerous forwarding-thinking conversation themes, including Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Pakistan has all the right ingredients to become a hub of global trade, innovation and entrepreneurship. We have the best talent in accountancy and finance. And as a nation we have an appetite for entrepreneurship and growth that bodes well for the future. With foreign investment in CPEC projects and global brands setting up their Shared Service centres in Pakistan, we can surely enter an unprecedented era of economic uplift. For that to happen, we need strong presence in platforms like WEF pushing the accountancy profession and Pakistan’s case, and the role of Martin Dow and Pathfinder group is highly appreciable,” said Sajjeed Aslam. ACCA’s presence in Davos is aimed at attracting more interest in CPEC by global business leaders to amplify its economic impact for our country. ACCA has done extensive research on CPEC in Pakistan and has produced highly useful global thought leadership on China’s Belt and Road Initiative in partnership with organisations such as Shanghai Stock Exchange, Singapore Accountancy Commission, Shanghai National Accounting Institute, EY, Deloitte, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and Pakistan-China Institute. Kabeer Naqvi FCCA, CEO, U Microfinance Bank spoke at a dinner organised at the Pakistan Pavilion and focused on how they are working towards promoting financial inclusion in the country and making a difference in the lives of millions of micro entrepreneurs who did not have the fundamental access to capital before the development of micro-finance industry in the country. Other speakers at the dinner included Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan, and Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir. “When it comes to encouraging collaborative action on the most pressing issues facing our planet and all its inhabitants, ACCA has always been at the forefront, and leading the way. To continue representing accountancy profession at the global stage and sharing our rich, future-focused insights and forward-thinking policy recommendations, we’re in Davos this week pushing for a fairer, sustainable and inclusive world,” said Ayla Majid.