ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to fast track implementation of industrial cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), utilising Chinese experiences to ensure speedy development of special economic zones in Pakistan.
It was decided in a meeting at Board of Investment jointly chaired by Secretary BoI Omer Rasul and Deputy Director-General of National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), China the other day.
Officials from China and Project Management Unit BOI were also present on the occasion.
Secretary BoI Omer Rasul briefed the NDRC delegation regarding the steps being taken by Pakistan side to ensure early implementation of industrial cooperation.
He informed that after completion of the first phase of CPEC, project in energy and road infrastructure sectors have achieved its commercial operation and in the second phase, implementation of industrial cooperation as envisioned will be ensured.
He said that groundbreaking of Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is planned next month.
Two more SEZs; China Special Economic Zone, Dhabeji at Sindh and Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3), Faisalabad would follow a similar pattern of development, he added.
The Government of Pakistan has alerted all the line ministries and sufficient funds have been allocated to start provision of utilities in line with the development of these SEZs, Mr Rasul said.
He underscored the need for creating a government to government (G2G) framework to give a firm push to industrial cooperation which would be carried out in business to business mode.
The delegation of NDRC appreciated Pakistan’s efforts, saying Chinese investors are willing to invest in the development and population of SEZs under CPEC.
Gao Jian declared industrial cooperation as a main gain and real focus of CPEC that could help the country to develop its industrial cluster based on its potentials.
The Chinese side offered to train and equip Pakistan’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), making them technologically sound and competitive to ensure rise in export.
Both sides further discussed agenda for Joint Working Group (JWG) on industrial cooperation and forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), expected to be held in October or November this year.