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CPEC at a glance

$3.2 Billion Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) included under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework.


A monumental decision was taken during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC, held on 23rd September 2021 at Islamabad and Beijing. The two countries agreed to include Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) under the CPEC framework.

KCCDZ, an initiative of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs focuses on providing Karachi with an ultra modern urban infrastructure zone, placing Karachi amongst the top port cities of the world.

In a first of its kind even for CPEC, the planned multibillion dollar mega KCCDZ project will be built on direct Chinese investment in partnership with Karachi Port Trust (KPT). The quantum of expected investment is around USD 3.5 billion.


CPEC to enhance Pakistan’s regional influence, synergize economy

October 5, 2021

BEIJING: After cooperating to deal with the pandemic, Pakistan and China should also accelerate the building of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting of CPEC has been held and a new IT working group has been established, which will bolster CPEC, read a statement issued on Sunday.

The success of CPEC will effectively enhance Pakistan’s comprehensive national strength and international status, according to an article published by Global Times, an English daily in China.

The key to the success of CPEC is that Pakistan needs to form its own industrial advantages through reform and development that can provide a safer environment for the construction of CPEC.

It said, in recent years, the global and regional structure has undergone major changes. At present, the change of strategic situations in South Asia and its neighbouring regions is mainly reflected in the Afghan issue.

The US hastily withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and the Afghan Taliban quickly took over Kabul. Many strategists and media organisations in the West and India have linked the Afghan Taliban’s seizure of power with China-US relations, China-India relations and India-Pakistan relations.

They believe that the successful seizure of power by the Afghan Taliban is a success of China and Pakistan, but a strategic failure of some countries including India.

India also has the ambition to achieve its goal of becoming a global power through the Indo-Pacific strategy and attempts to implement Hindu nationalist policies at home and in the region.

“India has long been marginalised on the Afghan issue. If India is to play a role in Afghanistan, it is unlikely to play a positive one. India is likely to use its intelligence agencies and some forces cultivated in Afghanistan and its surrounding areas in the past more than 20 years to undermine and disrupt the stability of Afghanistan. This is unfavourable to Afghanistan and its close neighbours, including China and Pakistan,” the article stated.

As all-weather strategic partners, China and Pakistan must work together to maintain and promote regional security and stability.
First of all, China and Pakistan must cooperate closely on the Afghan issue to persuade the Afghan Taliban to establish an open and inclusive government and implement a moderate domestic and foreign policy, it read.

At present, the verbal expression of the Afghan Taliban is very different from that in the past, but we do not know what specific policies they will champion in the future, it added.

The Afghan Taliban are now facing a series of severe challenges. Firstly, the unity of the Afghan Taliban itself; secondly, whether the Afghan Taliban can establish an open and inclusive government; Thirdly, food shortage is likely to lead to humanitarian disasters and refugees; Fourthly, they hope to win the recognition and assistance of the international community, but at the same time, they also face the hatred, blockade, sanctions and even subversion of some hostile forces in the world.

China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran all hope that the Afghan Taliban can establish an open and inclusive regime so that all ethnic groups and parties in Afghanistan can have their own representatives, which is the key for the Afghan Taliban to win domestic and international support.

China does not want Afghanistan to fall into turmoil again due to domestic political struggle that always leads to humanitarian crises, nor does China want Afghanistan to become a shelter for Eastern Turkistan forces such as the ETIM.

China does not want Afghanistan to become a source of regional unrest due to the excessive intervention of some external forces, affecting the security of CPEC.

Therefore, on the issue of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan should coordinate with Russia, Iran and Central Asian countries. These countries together should warn Europe of a possible refugee crisis and put pressure on the US, India and some European countries to take responsible actions to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the article maintained.

While strengthening strategic and security coordination against terrorist supporters, China and Pakistan should work with countries inside and outside the region to promote the construction of an open, inclusive, democratic and equal regional governance structure and security structure, it concluded.
China 'pleased' as CPEC enters stage of high-quality development

We are glad to see CPEC achieve new outcomes, says Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson

October 22, 2021

BEIJING: Expressing pleasure over the progress of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Friday said that the flagship project has achieved new outcomes and entered a stage of high-quality development.

"We are glad to see that CPEC has achieved new outcomes and entered a stage of high-quality development," he said while responding to a question asked by APP during his regular press conference held in Beijing.

He also referred to the National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) briefing in which a spokesperson of the commission gave an update on the new progress of the CPEC development.

"This is a demonstration of China-Pakistan friendship, and also an example of promoting the prosperity and development of countries along Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)," Wenbin added,

He said that the Chinese will work with Pakistan to implement the vital consensus reached between the leadership of the two countries and build the CPEC into a demonstration project for BRI’s high-quality development and to boost the building of an even closer China-Pakistan shared community.

Earlier, Meng Wei, a spokesperson of the NDRC, during a press briefing said that the CPEC has entered a new phase of high-quality development after making significant achievements in a wide range of areas over the years.

The CPEC has made significant progress, as expressways, vocational schools and power plants funded by China have been put into operation in Pakistan, he added.

The NDRC spokesperson also said that as a major pilot project of the BRI, the CPEC will accelerate Pakistan’s socioeconomic development in multiple areas, including energy and transportation.

"China and Pakistan will continue to strengthen cooperation focused on the Gwadar port, as well as energy and infrastructure projects, in order to promote the high-quality development of the CPEC," the spokesperson added.

On September 23, the Joint Council for Cooperation (JCC) of the CPEC held a meeting, where five cooperation documents and three inter-enterprise cooperation agreements were signed.
Pakistan-China body discusses progress of CPEC projects

December 16, 2021

BEIJING: The youth of Gwadar which accounts for 50% of the city’s population is going to be a beneficiary of high-paid jobs in Pakistan and global market as Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute is all set to function by recruiting the first batch of Gwadar students in February next year.

The development will boost employment for Gwadar’s youth at the city’s port, export-oriented industries, Gwadar Free Zone and enterprises to be set up under Gwadar’s master plan.

According to the master plan, the coastal city will create 1.2 million jobs for skilled workers and professionals with an economic output exceeding $30 billion.

Given that around 80% of the city’s population works in fish-catching and fisheries related occupations, the institute will impart the youth with the professional knowledge of modern fishing practices and pre-post handling of fish in the boat and harbor.

Moreover, it will teach the population advanced fish net knitting, fish preservation, ship making, food preservation, business techniques and awareness of Pakistani and Chinese law for business.

The first batch of about 400 students belonging to poor-strata of Gwadar will secure its admission free of cost in Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute.

The institute was built in October 2021 under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Chinese aid at a cost of 83 million yuan and with special efforts of Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Chairman Naseer Ahmed Kashani and China Overseas Port Holding Company Chairman Zhang Baozhong.

The youth of Gwadar (male and female) would prove to be an agent of change for transformation of a small fishing town into a modern smart city, said Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute Project Director Sohail Asghar in an interview.

He added that the technical and professional education, hostel and other allied facilities would be offered free of cost.

He revealed that during a three-year course, students would spend one year in Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute and one and a half years in Shandong Institute of Commercial Technology in China.

Later, the candidates will learn practical experience as internees in course related industries in China, he added.

With high-tech professional education and skills development, the demand for Gwadar’s youth will soar in the native city and foreign companies in China and around the globe.

He added that Gwadar would soon become an economic and logistics hub.

“Shandong Institute of Commercial Technology has also agreed to design the curriculum in line with requirements of the industries,” he said. “It also consented to bear operational cost of the institute for three years for boarding and lodging expenses of Chinese faculty members.”

The contract agreement with the Shandong institute has been submitted to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for approval, he added.

Besides construction work, the allied work at Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute is also in progress at a cost of Rs168.53 million. Out of this, Rs60 million has been consumed while the remaining Rs107 million is pending for approval, he mentioned.

GPA chairman Naseer Ahmed Kashani said that Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute is the first development work in Balochistan under CPEC and it has been completed three months ahead of schedule. Completed during the pandemic, the institute will produce skilled human resources for port cities, he added.

China Overseas Port Holding Company Chairman Zhang Boazhong said that “young people of Gwadar are the main and fundamental stakeholders of the port city.”

He added that their participation in operation and management of the deep-sea port, industrial and commercial businesses and in urbanisation processes would play a vital role in long-term developmental initiatives.

The Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute aimed at shaping and enhancing the skills of active population of Gwadar in a bid to enable them to participate in the growth of the port city.

Groundbreaking of Pakistan-China Technical and Vocational Institute was held on December 16, 2019. During construction, it generated more than 1,000 jobs for locals.
Eight years have been completed since the launch of the China-Pak economic corridor in two thousand aces. Meanwhile, significant progress has been made in the construction of electricity projects, industrial parks and public projects.

The only transmission project in Punjab under CPEC - Mora DC transmission project has been activated. Under The Belt and Road Initiative, the first major hydro power station project, started to store water at Krot Hydro Power Station from November 20th, from the second, The foundation for electricity supply has been laid in one thousand and twenty. After the completion of this project, electricity needs for fifty lakh people will be met.

In the agriculture sector, China and Pakistan discovered the chain of Pakistani onion in Islamabad on November 24 in Islamabad. The drafts of Chanch and Quarantine were signed. This is the first agreement between the two countries regarding agricultural exports in the second phase of the CPC between the two countries, which gave Pakistani onions access to the sugar market.

An ideal plan for industrial cooperation, special Eq A crash Zone, entered the phase of comprehensive construction in two thousand Akis. In addition, the construction of the Gwadar Vocational School, which was built with the help of China on October 1st, was also completed which brings education, skill and hope to the local people. Pakistan's parliament member Ahsan Iqbal Pakistan has not only helped CPEC not only to tackle the energy crisis, but also to build modern basic installations.

They expressed hope that all areas of Pakistan will benefit from the construction of CPEC.

March 5 (APP):.... The photovoltaic ground power station with a capacity of 900 MW in Punjab was listed as one of the priority projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Abdul Rehman Arif, an operation and maintenance engineer of Zonergy company said
the solar park has been promoted as one of the largest in the world. Located in the Cholistan desert in east-central Pakistan, its original 100-megawatt plant produces about 150-gigawatt hours a year, enough to light about 100,000 homes in the country, according to the company.

Pakistan faces a year-round electricity shortfall that hits around 6,500 megawatts in the summer, the period of peak demand. Its urban areas often suffer blackouts for five hours or more a day on average, while rural areas can experience more power shortage.

“In addition to easing power shortages, our plant also generates clean and green energy. The clean electricity we provide to municipal facilities and residents can reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions,” Abdul told CEN. The cumulative generation capacity of the PV station reached 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours in 2021 which is enough to satisfy the electricity demands of more than 200,000 local households, according to the company.
Practices in the past five years have proved that the CPEC construction is not targeting specific regions or groups, but is aiming at the whole country of Pakistan and benefits all the people of Pakistan.

I. Fruitful achievements in CPEC construction

CPEC has played a flagship leading and demonstration role in the “Belt and Road” construction. It has become a platform for all-round pragmatic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Improving macroeconomic conditions in Pakistan

CPEC has driven the development of Pakistan. The two-gap model proposed by economist Hollis B. Chenery posits that developing countries must introduce foreign investments and stimulate exports to boost growth for their national economy. CPEC has solved the problem of limited investment capacity caused by insufficient savings and shortage of foreign exchange in Pakistan and provided a high-quality source of impetus for Pakistan’s economic development.

As of January 2019, CPEC included 9 completed early harvest projects and 13 projects under construction, with a total investment of US$19 billion. It drove Pakistan’s economic growth by one to two percentage points every year and created 70,000 jobs in Pakistan.

The Chinese government provided US$5.874 billion in concessional loans to Pakistan, with a consolidated interest rate of only 2%, far lower than the average interest rate. The Chinese government also provided US$143 million in interest-free loans for the Gwadar East-Bay Expressway project and free assistance for some livelihood projects in Pakistan.

Thanks to favorable factors such as the CPEC construction, Pakistan’s macroeconomic conditions have been improved and its economy has maintained a momentum of rapid growth.

Over the past five years, Pakistan’s GDP grew by an average of 4.77%, especially in the 2017-2018 fiscal year when Pakistan’s GDP grew by 5.8%, being the highest growth rate in the recent 13 years. Pakistan’s annual foreign direct investment grew from US$650 million to US$2.2 billion, and the per capita annual income rose from US$1,334 to US$1,641.
56 Projects Successfully Launched Under CPEC :

The government is expanding the scope of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to explore the “Gateway of Prosperity” for both countries and the region at large through advancement of railway sector.

According to the Economic Survey 2021-22 launched by Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail along with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir and Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha, the government considers CPEC as a long-term development project as it has the potential to serve as a corridor with multiple doors connecting China with Central Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

The survey said the Chinese and Pakistani workforce, in a large number, was employed to ensure timely completion of the infrastructure projects and launched new projects such as Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M-6), Peshawar-DI Khan Motorway (M-14), KKH Alternative Route (Gilgit-Shandor-Chitral), Swat Expressway (Phase-II), Dir Expressway, and Karachi Circular Railways.

Pakistan Railways is one of the key modes of transport in the public sector which promotes national integration and economic growth.

During July-March FY 2022, the gross earnings of railways were recorded at Rs 43,731.59 million.

“A network of roads, highways, motorways, sea ports, and airlines in a country makes it a center of economic activity by attracting investment, raising productivity and reducing cost of doing business,” it said.

The government is committed to upgrade the transportation and communication system with the development of new roads, highways motorways, railway tracks and airports to improve connectivity under CPEC.

The CPEC is pragmatic step for converting unique geo-strategic location of Pakistan into geo-economics through various transport related projects that would transform road infrastructure of Pakistan and improve access to central Asian, African and European states, it added.

CPEC resumption

July 10, 2022

IT appears that a recent counterterrorism breakthrough has greatly helped restore Chinese confidence in Pakistan’s security apparatus and paved the way for the restoration of bilateral ties as well as CPEC-related activities, which had been on ice since late April.

Work has reportedly resumed on the Main Line 1 (ML-1) upgradation project, the largest component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan and the centrepiece of the second phase of CPEC.

The importance of what this breakthrough represents cannot be overstated.

Beijing — an all-weather friend and one of our strongest allies — had all but pulled the plug on its development activities in Pakistan after a brazen terrorist attack on the grounds of Karachi University left three Chinese teachers dead.

It was well known that Beijing had been quite upset for some time at the impunity with which its people were being attacked on Pakistani soil. After the KU attack, it simply suspended all work on the CPEC front till the time those responsible were nabbed and security for its personnel in Pakistan assured.

The gravity of the situation can be judged from the fact that recently army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa himself had to travel to Beijing with guarantees in a bid to win the Chinese over.
It is unclear what the army chief offered to the Chinese authorities, and what terms were set for the future.

The recent busting of a terrorist cell linked to Baloch extremists BLA and BLF, however, has thawed the ice considerably. The operation reportedly came in coordination with a group of Chinese investigators who had arrived here and were working with the Pakistani team tasked with the case.

This unusual arrangement reflects a lack of faith on the Chinese side. It would have been much better had there been more clarity about the role of this team and whether we should expect similar arrangements in the future, as has been rumoured in some quarters.

Be that as it may, it appears that Chinese authorities are for now satisfied with the progress made and wish to resume their work. It is now up to our government and security forces to make sure there is no further incident which may imperil goodwill between the two countries again.

However, there also needs to be greater transparency in our dealings with Beijing so that there is greater visibility of the progress being made under CPEC and how the project may affect the security of both foreigners working in Pakistan and the Pakistanis living here.

It is irregular for so much to continue to be negotiated behind closed doors while such a major, transformational project is being executed on our soil. Bilateral relations between Pakistan and China are not the exclusive domain of just one branch of the state that terms continue to be negotiated by it at the exclusion of all others.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2022
Conference on Belt and Road project concludes
10 Jul, 2022


LAHORE: Federal Minister for Investment Chaudhry Salik Hussain has said that the Belt and Road project is a new model of prosperity and development for the countries of the region. He was addressing the closing ceremony of a three-day international conference on “Role of Belt and Road Project in Promoting Regional Liaison” organized by Punjab University Regional Integration Centre (RIC) in association with the Chinese Embassy at Al-Raazi Hall.

On this occasion Ambassador of Indonesia Adam Mulawarman Tugio, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin, Ambassadorof Uzbekistan Aybek A Usmanov, Deputy Head of the mission of the Azerbaijan Embassy Tamerlan Khalilov, former PU VC Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Vice Chancellor Mian Nawaz Sharif Agriculture University Faisalabad Dr Asif Ali, Executive Director Pakistan Research Centre for a Community with Shared Future Communication University of China Khalid Taimur Akram, Director RIC Dr Fouzia Hadi Ali, faculty members and a large number of researchers from 18 countries and 20 leading Pakistani universities were present.

In his address, Chaudhry Salik Hussain said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would connect Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Russia. Relations between the countries of the region need to be strengthened for socio-economic development. The project would improve public and cultural ties between the countries of the region. He said that the Belt and Road Initiative was a hope for a better future for the region and CPEC would increase export and investment opportunities in Pakistan manifold.

He said that the process of obtaining NOCs for starting a business would be made easy for the convenience of investors. He said that Turkey was using modern means of Agriculture and Pakistan also needed to adopt modern technology to enhance agricultural exports.

Indonesian Ambassador Adam Togio said that the geographical location of Indonesia and Pakistan was important and both countries should promote trade cooperation. In the current era, it was necessary to increase ties among the regional countries.

Kazakhstan’s ambassador Yazrhan Kastafen said, “Kazakhstan is a landlocked country, but the BRI can create the best opportunities for countries to connect with each other.”

Azerbaijan’s Deputy Head of Mission Temirlin Khalilov has said that bilateral ties would boost socio-economic development and tourism. Azerbaijan is fully prepared to join the BRI project.
Former VC Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar said that for the first time a large number of delegates from Central Asia were attending the conference. He said that universities are an important source of socio-economic development and relations between the countries of the region should be promoted on priority basis.

The services of Col Khalid Taimor (R), Dr Fauzia Hadi Ali, Assistant Registrar Tashfeen and PRCCSF’s Maryam were appreciated for playing key role in successfully organizing the conference.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

The senior officials of Pakistan and China on Monday discussed the possibility of extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan in order to promote economic development and prosperity in the war-ravaged country.

The idea to extend the flagship programme of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was discussed during a meeting between China’s special envoy on Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood at the Foreign Office in Islamabad.
An official statement said the two sides exchanged views on the political and security situation in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance by Pakistan and China to Afghanistan, and other matters of mutual interest.

“In the context of regional connectivity, both sides exchanged views on extension of CPEC to Afghanistan to promote economic development and prosperity,” read the statement.

The foreign secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous and connected Afghanistan. He highlighted the provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan including Pakistan’s relief efforts in the wake of devastating earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on June 22, 2022.

Over 4,000 representatives of Chinese companies take part: STZA organises China-Pakistan technology investment conference in Beijing

21 Jul, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA), Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan’s Embassy in Beijing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Zhongguancun Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association (ZBRA) of China, jointly organised the first ever China-Pakistan Technology Investment Conference (CPTIC) virtually.

More than 4500 representatives of the Chinese technology ecosystem, including science and technology parks, high tech production enterprises, technology companies, investment organisations, research and development centres, Chinese state-owned infrastructure companies and Chinese agencies of national, provincial, and municipal governments attended the conference.

The conference can probably be termed as one of the biggest ever forum held between Pakistan and China in terms of participation from Chinese companies. STZA aims to create new linkages with the technology sector in China and pave way for the Pakistani and Chinese technology players to cooperate in the field of technology, and attract Chinese investments, knowledge and technology capabilities through ensuring world-class customer experience and ease of doing business for their operations in Pakistan’s Special Technology Zones (STZs).

Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Moinul Haque opened the forum by welcoming the Chinese representatives. Acknowledging the strong diplomatic ties between the two nations, the ambassador informed the participants that joint working groups with the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Ministry of Information and Technology, have been established under the CPEC framework.

He recognised China as a global leader in the technology industry and stated that both countries have many avenues to cooperate in the field of technology sector. The ambassador appreciated the role of Chairman STZA and his team in enabling the technology ecosystem in Pakistan and create effective linkages with Chinese technology companies.

Amer Hashmi, the Chairman of STZA stated that China is a leading partner in developing the knowledge ecosystem in Pakistan, revealing that STZA had set up a dedicated China desk to help Chinese technology companies and large-scale enterprises investing in Pakistan’s STZs.

The STZs are being developed under the Triple Helix Model of Innovation, bringing together the government, industry and academia to remove barriers and create ease of doing business for domestic and foreign technology sector companies. He thanked the Ambassador of Pakistan to the People’s Republic of China for facilitating the virtual conference and pledged his resolute support for the Chinese technology investors.

The conference was also facilitated by the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, which was represented by Cao Zhouhua, the First Secretary of Science and Technology. He said that both sides are exploring multi spectral cooperation in the technology sector including, knowledge sharing, zone development, research, policy development, joint training of professionals, and management of STZs as per international benchmarks.

Director of Strategic Planning at STZA, Hamza Saeed Orakzai, who also heads the China desk at STZA, gave a detailed presentation to the representatives including the tax incentives, regulatory support and one window facilitation for the perspective Chinese technology investors.

Zhang Xiodong the President of ZBRA stated that due to the technology boom in China, the taxation revenue increased by 2000 times over the last 30 years. He called for the integration of Chinese and Pakistani Universities for joint R&D to enable and support the China – Pakistan Innovation Centre in China and said that ZBRA and STZA under a partnership are exploring avenues of cooperation for the development of STZs in Pakistan.

Javaid Iqbal, the Chief Commercial Officer of STZA urged Chinese technology sector companies, investors and large-scale enterprises to engage in strategic conversation with STZA to explore future opportunities, stating that Pakistan’s demographic advantage stood for a unique investment base for Chinese technology companies and research organizations, and both countries could enormously benefit by working together in R&D, especially in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud and quantum computing, semiconductors, internet of things and smart devices design and manufacturing.

The STZA remains committed to job creation, technology transfer and human capital development in Pakistan with a special focus on youth entrepreneurship and innovation. Through its international partnerships and agreements, STZA aims to create a technology-driven knowledge economy in Pakistan to diversify economic indicators and create a new engine for rapid economic growth in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

PM vows swift completion of stalled Chinese projects in Pakistan​

27 Jul 2022,

ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday vowed early completion of the ongoing development projects being carried out by the Chinese companies in Pakistan that earlier faced deliberate delays by the previous government.

He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was playing an important role in the development of Pakistan and emphasized that the government was eying increased cooperation and investment with Chinese companies.

The prime minister expressed these views in a meeting with a Chinese delegation led by the President of Shanghai Electric Liu Ping. The meeting was also attended by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Mussadak Malik, Special Assistants Zafaruddin Mahmood, Dr. Jahanzeb Khan, and senior officials.

PM Sharif said the entire nation was grateful to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese leadership for helping Pakistan in difficult times.

He said the Chinese cooperation and investment to a greater extent led to improved development in Pakistan’s infrastructure, public transport, and power crisis.

He assured necessary steps to ensure the security of engineers and staffers of Chinese companies working in Pakistan.

He regretted that Thar Coal Power Project, which was supposed to be completed a long time ago, was deliberately stalled by the incompetent government of prime minister Imran Khan.

With its completion, the project would generate 1,320 MW of electricity from local coal, he added.

For early completion of Thar Coal Project by Shanghai Electric, the prime minister tasked the responsibility of assistance to Special Representative Zafaruddin Mehmood and Additional Secretary Nadeem Chaudhry.

He commended the assurance given by the Chinese companies to ensure the completion of projects in Pakistan at a fast pace.

The meeting informed the prime minister that Thar Coal Power Project was stalled for the last few years, however, the present government was making rapid progress to complete it by the first quarter of 2023. Also, 7,000 local people have been provided employment due to the project.

The prime minister welcomed the interest of Shanghai Electric to make further investments in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Pakistan.

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