China, Pakistan agree to promote export-led growth under CPEC

  • Int’l airport, hospital and vocational institutes to become operational this year in Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: China and Pakistan have agreed to promote export-led growth under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as the two sides declared 2019 as “the year of industrial, socioeconomic and agriculture cooperation”.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing met Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday to discuss matters of mutual interests including progress on the CPEC projects.

Ambassador Yao Jing noted that the 8th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting was held successfully in a cordial atmosphere where all deliverables were achieved and the scope of the cooperation was expanded to new avenues.

Planning Minister Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar on the occasion said that a memorandum of understanding on industrial cooperation, signed during the 8th JCC, provided a framework to promote communication on key industries, including textile, petrochemical, iron and steel. He said that the MoU would encourage Chinese investors to relocate and explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.

The minister highlighted that Pakistan could become an ideal destination for investment in different sectors, adding that the Ministry of Planning would facilitate Chinese investors looking for opportunities under CPEC.

Bakhtiar said that the government was formulating policies that would improve ease of doing business in Pakistan.

He said that the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on socio-economic development was a major milestone and the action plan discussed therein would support uplift of underdeveloped areas of the country. He added that the Pakistani side has already forwarded an invitation letter to the Chinese experts in this regard.

“Both sides need to expedite work for the speedy implementation of initiatives in already identified six areas, including agriculture, education, medical treatment, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training projects,” he stressed.

The minister hoped that JWG meeting on agriculture, scheduled for 15th February, would provide an opportunity to broaden the scope of cooperation under CPEC. He emphasized that Chinese investors should explore investment opportunities in the agriculture sector of Pakistan for input supplies as well as food production, processing, logistics, marketing and exports in a vertically integrated way on their own or through joint ventures with Pakistani companies.

Both sides agreed to ensure that this year, Gwadar projects such as new international airport, hospital and vocational institutes would hit the ground, as these projects were beneficial for the local population and would, therefore, gain the support and trust of the local population.

Ambassador Yao Jing appreciated the efforts of the government for facilitating Chinese investors, saying that a large number of Chinese investors would visit Pakistan soon for investment purposes, which would further strengthen the bonds of economic and bilateral cooperation.