Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting in Islamabad today (Friday) to review progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor and set targets for short to mid-term phase, focusing on cooperation in industrial, socio-economic, agriculture and Gwadar.
Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar briefed the participants on the outcome of the 8th CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee meeting and progress on the projects.
It was decided to make the period as a phase of industrial cooperation, socioeconomic and agriculture sector development. Timelines for the development of prioritized SEZs were finalized to ensure ground breaking in 1st half of 2019.
The Prime Minister directed to make full use of Chinese investors' visits this year, promote awareness amongst investors on Pakistan's tax policies, market SEZs aligned with its development and ensure ease of doing business.
It was directed that a timeline base policy on provision of utilities to SEZs be prepared at the earliest. It was decided to promote joint ventures in petrochemicals, iron & steel, food and agriculture.
The Prime Minister instructed to form a CPEC Business Advisory Council consisting of leading Pakistani business executives to create an interface with the private sector.
The Prime Minister instructed that development of the corridor should continue with priority to the development of Western Route.
It was emphasized that infrastructure development needs a policy of pragmatism and due financial diligence. In the same spirit, a high level committee comprising of Ministers for Planning, Railway and Finance was formed to finalize modalities on Pakistan Railways ML-1-the strategic project of CPEC.
Prime Minister directed that Pakistan side should finalize road map for promoting agriculture sector, inviting Chinese companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and leverage agro value chains.
He also directed that the development of Gwadar should be planned as a smart port city to make it a transshipment and petrochemical hub.