Senior Chinese officials have called on Planning, Development and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal to discuss the progress of all the projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Chinese delegation has arrived in Pakistan on a four-day visit where progress of all the sanctioned projects will be discussed, including up-gradation of Pakistan’s railway network and implementation of Gwadar project.
The delegation comprising of senior officials from the National Railway Administration and National Development and Reform Commission, Chinese investors, and representatives from China Development Bank and China EXIM Bank reinforced their commitment on all CPEC projects and assured that all the projects will now undergo at a speedy pace and soon reach completion.
The delegates will also meet officials from provincial government’s Board of Investment in order to discuss establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and incentive packages for investors. The Chinese government also acknowledged the efforts undertaken by the Pakistani government to complete CPEC projects on time, specifically the work done by Ahsan Iqbal.
Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC has helped Pakistan cross major hurdles related to industrial progress, weak infrastructure, and energy crisis in the country. He further said that investments have been flowing in from China into local businesses which makes CPEC the most important project in the region.
The Sahiwal Coal-fired power project has already been completed under CPEC while other projects in Gwadar like hospital, airport, Eastbay Expressway, and technical institute will be completed soon. Pakistan and China are also working on providing technical skills to the youth while 50 universities of both the countries would be inter-connected for educational training.
The Chinese delegate will also meet officials from Pakistan Railways in order to finalize plans for the implementation of ML-1, which is scheduled to kick start this year. CPEC has come a long way in the last 3-4 years with both the countries signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2013. Since then, quite a few CPEC projects will be completed while work on other projects is going at a rapid pace.