China and Pakistan recommit to economic corridor project


China and Pakistan recommit to economic corridor project

Ministerial Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will meet today (Tuesday) to approve an aggregate amount of $27 billion for 22 mega projects, including special economic zones and Gwadar International Airport.

Ahsan Iqbal said JCC has also formed a working group to launch agriculture projects aimed at producing more value added agricultural products by utilizing Chinese technology in this sector.

"CPEC is also helping promote knowledge-based economy in Pakistan, which is a need of the new age", the minister said while addressing the 7th meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC.

Pakistan has refused to allow free use of the Chinese yuan on the lines of the U.S. dollar in the country as officials from the two nations met to decide on a long-term developmental plan under the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a media report said on Tuesday.

The minister informed that establishment of nine industrial zones, one each in all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, FATA, and Islamabad also came under consideration in the meeting and it was decided its approval would be made after evaluation of feasibility studies of all the zones by the Chinese side.

Moreover, the private sector was allowed to participate in the meeting for the first time.

He said the Long Term Plan (2017-30) envisages key areas of bilateral cooperation in facilitating and financing the projects under CPEC over the next 13 years.

Talking about Gwadar, Iqbal said that projects in Gwadar were of utmost importance for the people of the area as well as for national development.

He noted that CPEC energy and infrastructure projects are progressing smoothly and achieving timely attainment.

In Islamabad the Foreign Office said on Monday that Janjua and Kong also exchanged views on issues including the situation in Afghanistan, the new USA policy in South Asia and matters relating to the Korean Peninsula.

He stated that China is Pakistan's iron brother and thanked the Assistant Foreign Minister for the message from the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.