BEIJING: Pakistan and China on Saturday signed several Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and agreements related to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
The two countries agreed on implementation of the upgradation of ML1 and the establishment of Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan. The neighbouring countries also signed a grant agreement on the Gwadar airport and an MoU on cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road Initiative.
The agreements and MoUs were signed in presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.
Nawaz Sharif also held meeting with the Chinese premier in The Great Hall of the People, Beijing. The two sides discussed progress on CPEC – an important part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road vision.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Minister for Planning Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal said it was a historical day as signing of the MoUs for cooperation within the frame work of the silk road will provide opportunities for the two countries to work together to form synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Vision 2025 of Pakistan.
Iqbal said that the signing of MoUs would also enhance policy coordination and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, especially to jointly promote the construction of CPEC in a steady manner.
“The agreements would realize peaceful development and common prosperity of the two participants and would promote cooperation,” he maintained.
He informed that the two countries would promote the bilateral cooperation, guided by the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. The two participants will respect each other’s core interests and major concerns and deepen political mutual trust, he added.
The minister said, “It was also agreed that in accordance with the vision of cooperation, development and win-win progress under the Belt and Road Initiative, the two countries will make full use of existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, multilateral mechanisms that they have both joined, such as CPEC, to form synergy, give each other support and learn from each other so as to complement and fully display each other’s strengths.”
Ahsan Iqbal also informed the media that MoUs on the implementation of up gradation of the ML1 Project and establishing the Havelian Dry port are a step towards the implementation of the strategic project in an orderly manner.
Both, the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform, Pakistan and NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) China, being the focal agencies, will provide support, and guidance to the relevant companies for early commencement of the Project through the signed MoUs.
Iqbal also stated that it is a historical day for Gawadar as the grant agreement for the Gwadar Airport has been signed paving the way for commencement of the project in 2017.
He also briefed that the ML1 project will not only generate thousands of jobs for Pakistani workforce but will also accelerate the engine of growth and development in the country. With the development of Gawadar, it will become the hub of trade for the region.
The minister also informed that many other MoUs are being signed in the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum on various sectors including Defense.