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Socioeconomic development, poverty alleviation new doors of CPEC: Khusro

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar Tuesday said that promotion of trade and industrialisation, cooperation in the field of agriculture, socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation were new vistas of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“The governments of both sides are committed towards uplift of the less developed areas,” he said while chairing 57th CPEC progress review meeting here at the Planning Commission.

Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Project Director CPEC Hassan Daud and officials from federal and provincial governments attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed preparation for CPEC 8th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), being planned in the coming weeks at Beijing, China, besides reviewing progress of the ongoing projects.

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar highlighted that socio-economic development areas were focused on the recent PM’s visit to China where not only enhancement of scope of CPEC was agreed upon but also opening of new avenues for bringing prosperity and a positive change in livelihoods of people of Pakistan.

Read More: Planning minister stresses to broaden agro-cooperation with China

“This is reflected with the formation of new Joint Working Group on Socio-Economic Development Sector and Poverty alleviation.

“This will open new doors for education, health, vocational training and agriculture” he said.

He further believed that the steps would contribute to reducing regional disparities and social inequality, and improve life expectancy and quality of life.

The minister for planning, development and reform also said that the economic attractiveness of the CPEC served as an irresistible magnet for us to utilise its potential in facilitating trade objectives and enhancing bilateral cooperation with China.

“As it enters new phase we should endeavour to explore new vistas of mutual growth and development,” he added.

While reviewing preparation for upcoming 8th Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting of CPEC, the minister said we all would work together as one team towards success of 8th JCC.

He instructed to fast-track industrial cooperation by developing holistic framework with China besides initiating development work on ready special economic zones. He said that SEZs would help in boosting Pakistan’s exports and achieving sustainable economic growth.

Khusro Bakhtiar emphasised on Gwadar projects and said that major breakthrough was expected in JCC with respect to Gwadar social sector development projects including new airport, hospital, and vocational institute.

The minister further instructed to ensure finalisation of all processes of Gwadar 300 MW power project before next JCC.

He reiterated the present government’s stance about energy sector development and said that projects based on indigenous sources, including Thar coal, hydel and renewable energy, would be promoted in future. He also instructed to work out new transmission lines projects under CPEC energy cooperation.

Khusro Bakhtiar emphasised that the CPEC will bring equal benefits in all aspects to both Pakistan and China. “The government of Pakistan remains committed to realize the opportunities that the CPEC and we all must work to achieve the targets set for the new phase,” he stressed.

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