- Planning minister urges Chinese govt to encourage state-owned and private sector companies explore investment opportunities in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said on Wednesday that consensus among stakeholders has been developed on the Gwadar City Master Plan, which would be finalized at the earliest.
The minister was talking to Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, who called on him in Islamabad. Matters of mutual interest, including progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, came under discussion during the meeting, according to a press statement issued by the ministry.
The meeting was also attended by Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan and CPEC Project Director Hasaan Daud Butt.
The minister highlighted the need to expedite progress on Gwadar’s projects such as new international airport, hospital, vocational institutes and power plant. The projects would not only create a conducive environment for future investments but would also help upgrade facilities for the local population, he added.
The minister appreciated that the Chinese experts on socio-economic development were visiting Pakistan during the current month to discuss cooperation in agriculture, education, medical treatment, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training projects.
He hailed the Chinese government for providing financial support in initiating pilot projects for poverty alleviation and informed that Pakistan would identify sites for workable projects with the input of provincial governments.
Bakhtiar reiterated that all measures would be taken to fast track the industrial cooperation by ensuring the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The groundbreaking of the Rashakai SEZ would be done soon, he added.
He said the federal government would facilitate in providing utilities such as power, gas supplies and road infrastructure to all SEZs under CPEC with an aim to expedite the development of the projects.
He asked the Chinese government to encourage state-owned and private sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.
The minister highlighted the importance of agriculture sector development for Pakistan’s economic uplift and said that the federal and provincial governments would come up with a viable road map for the forthcoming Joint Working Group meeting on agriculture.
“We promote technology transfer, trade facilitation and scientific as well technical cooperation in this important sector,” he said.
Bakhtiar stated that Pakistan would welcome Chinese agriculture sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan for input supplies as well as in food production processing, logistics, marketing and exports in a vertically integrated way or through joint ventures.
The minister underscored the need to finalise the preliminary design of Pakistan Railways ML-1 upgradation so that negotiation on financial matters could commence.