July 12, 2017
Chinese delegation arrives to review CPEC progress
ISLAMABAD: A high level Chinese delegation arrived on a four-day visit to Pakistan to discuss industrial cooperation, implementation of Gwadar projects and Pakistan Railways’ up-gradation of Main Line-1 under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The delegation consisted of senior officials from National Development and Reform Commission, National Railway Administration, Chinese investors and representatives of China EXIM Bank and China Development Bank.
It met Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal to discuss latest progress on sanctioned projects. Members of the delegation reiterated their commitment to making CPEC a success by ensuring speedy completion of projects under CPEC.
Iqbal also had some respite, after continuously defending the ruling family over the JIT report, when members of the delegation appreciated the active role played by him in supervising and coordinating CPEC projects. The planning minister, in turn, said that the bilateral megaproject has entered a crucial phase due to inflow of Chinese investments in local businesses.
“Due to CPEC, various hurdles in the way of industrial progress and cooperation such as weak infrastructure and energy shortages are being removed,” he said, categorizing CPEC as a milestone in promotion of local industries.
Industrial cooperation, he said, would help in boosting employment opportunities and imparting necessary skills among the educated youth of the country.
“The speedy completion of Sahiwal coal-fired power project under CPEC is a great example of active role of the government,” he said while praising his own administration. He assured of speedy completion of projects in Gwadar inlcuding Gwadar Hospital, technical institute, Eastbay Expressway and New Gwadar Airport. The master plan for the westerly port city will also be prepared soon, according to the minister.
Highlighting educational aspects of the project, Iqbal said over 50 universities in the two countries would be interconnected to promote people to people contact and spur higher learning.
“A journey which started with a mere memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2013 has become one of the most important projects globally,” he claimed, hoping that the delegation’s visit would serve to spur commencement of mega projects under CPEC thereby “transforming this multi-billion dollars initiative into a true economic corridor.”
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