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Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

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Pakistan, China may sign Industrial Cooperation agreement at JCC

Chinese ambassador calls on planning minister to discuss 10th JCC meeting


APP
July 12, 2021


in second phase of cpec there is high focus on social development and projects that are closer to the masses such as health and education photo file



In second phase of CPEC, there is high focus on social development and projects that are closer to the masses such as health and education.

BEIJING: China and Pakistan are expected to sign a framework agreement for Industrial Cooperation (IC) during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC), scheduled to be held via video-link this month.

Both the countries have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on industrial cooperation and now in the upcoming meeting of the JCC, it is likely to be taken to the next level, the China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Monday.

The JCC is the highest decision-making body of CPEC, which is co-chaired by Pakistan's minister for planning and China's National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) chairman. To implement CPEC, China and Pakistan have set up a ministerial-level JCC on CPEC Long Term Planning.

Initially, there were 7 joint working groups (JWGs) under the JCC for planning, energy, transportation infrastructure, Gwadar Port, industrial cooperation, social-economic development and international cooperation. Later two more JWGs on agriculture and science and technology were made.

The JCC is responsible for overall planning and coordination under CPEC, while the JWGs are responsible for the detailed planning and implementation of the projects.

The JCC secretariats are established in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms of Pakistan respectively.

The two secretariats are responsible for communicating and coordinating with the line ministries, related to the projects of CPEC. Until now, the JCC has convened nine meetings and since 2015 it is held on an annual basis.

In connection with the 10th JCC meeting, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has proposed mega-projects in energy and power, tourism, agriculture, road, industry and social sectors to be presented to the 10th JCC meeting for consideration.

These include Peshawar- DI Khan Motorway, Chashma Right Bank Canal, Swat Expressway Phase 2, Dir Expressway, Chakdara to Chitral Expressway, Chitral to Shandur Road, Kumrat Cable Car, Peshawar Circular Rail, Daraban Economic Zone, Mori Kari Hydel Power Project, 500 KV transmission line from Chital to Chakdara etc.

All the necessary arrangements have been completed for the groundbreaking of Rashakai Economic Zone and so far 700 applications have been received for setting up industries in the economic zone.

Mainline-I (ML-I) project –one of the major projects under CPEC – is also likely to see the light of the day in the 10th JCC meeting. As many as 18 projects worth around Rs83 billion have been identified in the agriculture sector under CPEC to exploit its potential and modernize it for sustainable economic growth. These projects are likely to be tabled in the 10th JCC meeting.

About twelve short, medium and long-term projects identified by the China-Pakistan JWG are related to the livestock wing of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) and Livestock and Dairy Development Department.

Six projects are related to research and development to be executed by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council while one project has been identified for the establishment of Aquaculture Park in coastal areas of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong called on the Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Monday to discuss matters relating to the upcoming 10th JCC meetings and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The secretary planning and the CPEC Authority chairman also participated in the meeting.

The minister expressed satisfaction over the work done by the JWG and said the pace of implementation of CPEC projects would be further accelerated in the weeks and months to come.

“The establishment and operationalization of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is currently among the top priorities. The SEZs would enable setting up joint ventures in manufacturing that would integrate the enterprises from both sides,” he said.

The ambassador said the JCC would provide an opportunity to give further boost to bilateral cooperation under the CPEC umbrella. He said the upcoming meeting would also open many new avenues of cooperation.




 
The 10th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting on China Pakistan Economic Corridor will be held on Friday via video link.

This was stated by Chairman China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa in a tweet today (Saturday).

He said the meeting will be co-chaired by Planning Minister Asad Umar and Vice Chairman National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe.

JCC is the highest decision making forum on CPEC reviews progress and decides on future projects.
 

CPEC JCC to be held next week:

Mon, 13 Sep 2021, 6:02 PM

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC Khalid Mansoor said on Monday that Pakistan was committed to take forward the journey of development under the second phase of China China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at fast speed by making it a safe and secure corridor to enhance bilateral trade ties.

He said he was very optimist about the mega project as the Chinese authorities had agreed to hold the 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on 23rd or 24th of current month.

Addressing his maiden press conference here after taking his new charge, the SAPM said security was a big concern for the Chinese and to upraise the Chinese confidence, he briefed the Chinese Authorities about overall security situation assuring that additional security measures had been taken by the government.

Chief Executives of eight companies established in Faisalabad Industrial Estate and Manufacturing Company (FIEDMC)-the CPEC prioritized Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Punjab- were also present on the occasion.

The 10th annual meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC was earlier scheduled on July 16, 2021 but was postponed due to certain security issues in the country.

Khalid Mansoor said there were nine Joint Working Groups (JWGs) of the JCC in various sectors including Agriculture, Energy, Infrastructure, Science and Technology and others and various new projects in all these sectors would come under consideration in the meeting.

He said the international forces who were against the mega project would fail in their nefarious designs.

Mansoor said the first phase brought an investment of $25 billion out of which $13 billion worth of project had been completed while the rest $12 billion projects were in the pipeline and were likely to be completed within a year.

The magnitude of second phase, he said was huge as a variety of sectors were involved which would attract huge foreign investment besides thousands of news jobs for locals.

He said the first SEZ under CPEC-FIEDMC was functional for last three years and during that period, number of Chinese companies had brought investment of $845 million in total.

“The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the Chinese companies met with the Prime Minister today and informed him about the progress of their companies,” he added.

He said a Chinese company who makes prefabricated homes has established its set up in the FIEDC with an investment of $20 million and it would start making homes in Pakistan very soon.

Further he said another company has established its electric bikes and three wheelers manufacturing plant in the SEZ at an area of 5 acres and it has also started its production

Likewise a Chinese company has established an LED bulb manufacturing plant with an investment of $18 million.

Another ceramic tiles’ manufacturing Chinese company has also set up its plant with $300 million at an area of 120 acres, he added.

Similarly an international mobile company OPPO had also set up its plant in the SEZ.

He said a Chinese company “Challenge” who prepares high value apparel for world renowned companies such as Adidas, Rebook and American Eagle had also established its plant which had recorded $150 million exports during previous year while it aimed at increasing the level of export up to $450 million in one year.

He said the CPEC Authority would provide one window for the Chinese investors to facilitate them.

The four prioritized SEZs, Rashakai in KPk, FIEDMC in Punjab, Dhabeji in Sindh and Gwadar in Balochistan would be provided Plug and Play execution environment to ensure speedy development of industrial sector, he added.

To a question, the SAPM said an action plan had been made to resolve the issues in the projects that were facing delays.

He said since CPEC was of national importance all political parties had showed full support on this project.

To another question, Mansoor said for setting up industrial units in FIEDMC, the Chinese investors were allowed both options either to get the land on lease or to purchase the land on ownership basis.

Replying to another question, he said complete transparency was ensured in all the projects under CPEC. “I have been involved in power projects worth of over $5 billion but I never have witnessed any kickbacks in the projects”.

He also dispelled the impression that Chinese companies were importing labour from China saying that a large number of Pakistanis were recruited in the CPEC projects and they were also being given skilled training.
 
CPEC 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting is in process in Islamabad today.

Which is being co-chaired by Federal Minister for PD&SI Asad Umar and Vice Chairman of NDRC China Mr. Ning Jizhe...


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Despite challenges, CPEC projects meeting deadlines: Asad Umar
  • After 10th JCC meeting on CPEC, federal minister says need for security measures has grown as Chinese investment is increasing in Pakistan

BR Web Desk
23 Sep 2021

Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Thursday that despite many challenges, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was progressing successfully as many projects under the corridor have been completed under their set deadlines.

The planning minister was addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a meeting of the 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC.

“The CPEC cooperation successfully stood test of time during the pandemic and work on all projects continued mainly due to the resolute commitment of the top leadership of both the countries,” he said.

The federal minister said that it was a matter of pride that Phase-I had been completed successfully. The first phase was focused on the development of energy, communication, and infrastructure projects.

Phase-II, he said, was also successfully underway which offers a broader scope of cooperation between Pakistan and China. "This phase is focused on accelerated industrial cooperation, trade, agriculture, and socio-economic development," Umar said.

Umar said the industrial zones of Rashakai and Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad show that the project is heading in the right direction.

The federal minister said that progress was also being made on the development and operationalisation of Gwadar port and free zone. "The development is a reflection of the optimism we have had in the future of CPEC, particularly industrial cooperation," he added.

The minister said that the CPEC South Zone of Gwadar was more or less complete, while the Prime Minister had recently inaugurated the North Zone, which is around 37 times larger than the South zone of Gwadar.

Talking about investment in CPEC, he said in addition to China, Pakistan would also welcome investments from other countries in the project.

He said, learning from Chinese experiences, the government had shifted the focus of development towards underdeveloped areas to bring them at par with developed regions of the country.

Umar said that the government was also investing substantial resources on its own for CPEC projects on the Western route. He said many development projects are underway in Balochistan to make Gawadar an effective port.

The planning minister said Phase-II of CPEC is also putting special focus on the development of agriculture and livestock, which he said had tremendous potential.

He added that there is a dire need to develop the Pakistan's agriculture sector to help farmers and low-income families earn higher incomes.

“Agriculture is what we need today and for the future, we need to develop science and technology infrastructure to usher in a new era," he said.

Talking about security issues, the minister said that Chinese investment in Pakistan was increasing and along with it, the need for security measures has also grown.

Umar said that since the last JCC, the world has changed a lot due to the impact of Covid-19.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that both [China and Pakistan] countries have been able to deal with the pandemic in an effective manner,” he said.

He lauded China's support, terming it unprecedented at a time when all other countries were prioritising their own citizens in providing vaccines.

"China provided much needed support to Pakistan to combat Covid-19," the planning minister said.

He also congratulated governments and peoples of both Pakistan and China on the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations and on the completion of 100 years of Communist Party of China.

Earlier, SAPM on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Khalid Mansoor said that the government has started a discussion with China to resolve the repayment of $3 billion CPEC investment becoming due, in a win-win situation for both the countries.
 
ISLAMABAD, Oct 01 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar presided over a review meeting of the newly constituted Working Groups on Science and Information Technology Cooperation at the 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCCl) here on Friday.

Minister for Science & Technology Shibli Faraz, Minister for IT Amin Ul Haq, Minister for IT KP Atif Khan, SAPM on CPEC Khalid Mansoor, Executive Director CPEC, and representatives from Ministries attended the meeting.

In the meeting, the four projects including Establishment of the China Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Science; Acquisition of Oceanographic Research Vessel; Establishment of the Institute of Smart Semiconductor and Establishment of Silicon Solar Cells; and “PV Panel Fabrication Facility of 500 MW/annum which were made part of CPEC in the 10th JCC meeting were reviewed and discussed in detail.

Federal Minister Asad Umar directed that action plans for these projects be finalized within 30 days and submitted at the earliest.

Shibli Faraz said that with the joint efforts of both countries, Science and Technology applications should be used to accelerate the growth of the economy and solve the problems of the citizens.

He further said that a proper plan and strategy was needed with a regular monitoring system so that Pakistan can obtain maximum benefit from the technology and expertise of the Chinese side.

In another meeting held on the same day sectors related to the newly formed JWG on Information Technology, recently approved by JCC were discussed in detail. The sectors, Broad Band Connectivity, Technology Parks/ IT Parks, Cyber Security, Software and Hardware development were discussed in detail.

Federal Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq said in the meeting that IT is the future of Pakistan and in the last one or two years, Pakistan has witnessed rapid growth in this sector.

Pakistan's software exports increased almost 47% in the Information Technology sector. This sector now will further develop and expand through technical collaboration with China.

He said that there is also a need to launch new technical assistance programs for Pakistan to meet the professional requirements of the growing IT Industry in the country.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar directed the IT Ministry to submit concept notes on the above sectors to the Planning Ministry within a period of 30 days so that the fast-moving and strategic initiatives could be discussed in the upcoming JWG.

He further said that the role of the Ministry of IT must be appreciated as they are striving hard to ensure to meet the international standards of technological advancement and progress.
 
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11th JCC on CPEC likely next month​


APP
26 Jul 2022,

ISLAMABAD, Jul 26 (APP):Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal presided over a meeting to review the progress made in preparation for the 11th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) expected to be held by next month.

Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mahmood, gave a detailed briefing on the 3rd International Cooperation & Coordination Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting held virtually on July, 22, 2022, according to a press release issued by the Planning Ministry.

Foreign Secretary was quoted as saying that China appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to provide a safe and smooth business environment and our leadership’s commitment to building CPEC with “Pakistan Speed”.

Third-party participation and extension of CPEC to Afghanistan were also discussed. It was also pointed out that cooperation between thematic think tanks on both sides should be encouraged to further deepen the strategic economic cooperation under CPEC. The Minister was also apprised of the activities that are planned to promote the CPEC narrative at the national & global levels.

Power Division highlighted the agenda for the forthcoming 9th JEWG meeting scheduled to be held in the 1st week of August.

It was informed that 1124 MW Kohala and 700.7 MW, Azad Pattan hydro power projects as well as 1320 MW Thar Coal power plant project would be taken up with the Chinese side in the next scheduled JWG on Energy meeting.

A joint study for the future development of Thar Coal has also been made part of the agenda.

The Minister underlined that measures have been taken to provide sufficient power for Gwadar city, and stressed the need for renewable energy projects for Gwadar city development in the future.

Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunications (IC&T) also briefed the meeting on the agenda of the forthcoming second JWG on IT with a focus on infrastructure development, policy and regulations, human resource development, and Cyber Security.

The Minister for Planning stressed the need for cooperation with China in the IT sector, as China has emerged as the leader in Artificial Intelligence, and cooperation with China in this field has enormous promise for Pakistan.

The meeting also discussed projects in the agriculture and socio-economic sector for the forthcoming 11th JCC meeting. In the agricultural sector, it was underlined that China’s expanding agricultural market provides significant potential for Pakistani exports.

Modernization and mechanization of agriculture in Pakistan should be carried out in the context of CPEC, as well as other measures to enable agricultural development and tap into the Chinese market for the mutual benefit of the two countries. FMD and quarantine issues were explicitly emphasized as important hurdles in meat export to China by a representative from M/o National Food Security, who informed the chair that they are being addressed on priority with the Chinese assistance.

The Minister concluded by emphasizing the importance of the people-to-people exchange program between China and Pakistan and how it may contribute to the economic development of the country. He instructed the Secretary of Planning to devise a plan to boost exchanges under CPEC so that emerging leaders in every field experience the development in China, and internalize it for the development of Pakistan.

The provinces and special regions’ planning and development departments, as well as other relevant stakeholders from across the country, also virtually attended the meeting.
 
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Key power projects to be taken up in JEWG meeting

Jul 27, 2022
NAVEED BUTT

ISLAMABAD: Power projects including 1124 MW Kohala and 700.7 MW Azad Pattan HPPs as well as 1,320 MW Thar Coal power plant project will be taken up in the coming meeting of the Pakistan-China Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG) which would be held in the first week of the next month (August).

The Power Division highlighted the agenda for the forthcoming 9th JEWG meeting and discussed power projects in pre Joint Coordination Committee meeting held on Tuesday, here in Islamabad.

Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal presided over the meeting to review the progress made in preparation for the 11th JCC meeting expected to be convened next month.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood gave a detailed briefing on the 3rd International Cooperation and Coordination JWG meeting held virtually on 22nd July 2022.

The foreign secretary said that third-party participation and extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan were also discussed.

A joint study for the future development of Thar Coal has also been made part of the agenda of the coming JEWG meeting.

The minister underlined that measures have been taken to provide sufficient power for Gwadar city, and stressed the need for renewable energy projects for Gwadar city development in the future.

The meeting also discussed projects in the agriculture and socio-economic sector for the forthcoming 11th JCC meeting.

In the agricultural sector, it was underlined that China’s expanding agricultural market provides significant potential for Pakistani exports. Modernization and mechanization of agriculture in Pakistan should be carried out in the context of the CPEC, as well as other measures to enable agricultural development and tap into the Chinese market for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) of animals and quarantine issues were explicitly emphasized as important hurdles in meat export to China by a representative from the Ministry of National Food Security, who informed the chair that they are being addressed on priority with Chinese assistance.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (IC&T) also briefed the meeting on the agenda of the forthcoming 2nd JWG on IT with a focus on the ICT infrastructure development, policy and regulations, human resource development, and cyber security.

The Minister for Planning stressed the need for cooperation with China in the IT sector, as China has emerged as the leader in artificial intelligence, and cooperation with China in this field has enormous promise for Pakistan.

The minister concluded by emphasizing the importance of the people-to-people exchange program between China and Pakistan and how it may contribute to the economic development of the country. He instructed the secretary of planning to devise a plan to boost exchanges under the CPEC so that emerging leaders in every field experience the development in China, and internalise it for the development of Pakistan.

The provinces and special regions’ Planning and Development departments, as well as other relevant stakeholders from across the country, also virtually attended the meeting.
 
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Pakistan and China to cooperate in 6 areas including cyber security and 5G​


ISLAMABAD, Jul 29 (APP): The maiden meeting of Pakistan-China Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Information Technology Industry was virtually held at the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication here on Friday.

The Pakistani side was led by Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Additional Secretary (Incharge) Mohsin Mushtaq, while Vice Minister of Industry and IT of China, Zhang Yunming from the Chinese side, said a news release.
The meeting discussed avenues for cooperation between the two countries in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Addressing the meeting, Additional Secretary (Incharge), MOITT, Mohsin Mushtaq said that both Pakistan and China would benefit from the Joint Working Group as well as from the initiatives which would be completed under this relationship.

“This new Joint Working Group on IT under the CPEC will open exciting opportunities for Pakistani tech companies, and facilitate launching of 5G technology in Pakistan,” he added.

The meeting was attended by Additional Secretary MoITT, Aisha Humera Moriani, Member International Coordination, Ajmal Anwar Awan and other senior officers of the Ministry.
 
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Pak-China JWG agrees to deepen cooperation in the agriculture and livestock sectors​


September 21, 2022


ISLAMABAD, Sep 20 (APP): China-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agriculture here Tuesday agreed for establishing a laboratory to develop embryos of elite animals, besides setting up chilies farm to under first batch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects to boost agricultural sector.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of the People’s Republic of China jointly organized 3rd meeting of China-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agriculture.
The meeting discussed and reviewed areas to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and livestock sectors between the two countries.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed progress of several investment initiatives by Chinese companies as Royal Group of China has established a laboratory in Lahore to develop buffalo embryos of elite animals. The company also plans to set up a buffalo dairy farm of 8,000 heads.

Dr Akmal Siddiq, Technical Advisor MNFS&R, while welcoming the initiative said that the project will significantly improve buffalo breeds and milk production both in Pakistan and China.

Sichuan Litong Limited and China Machinery and Engineering Corporation have started chili contract-farming in Punjab and Sindh on 400 hectares as company is providing local farmers technology and training to grow high-quality chilis.
It has planned to expand this operation on 10,000 hectares and to also establish a chili processing plant.
Dr. Waseem ul Hassan, Food Security Commissioner at MNFS&R said that Pakistan is a net-importer of chili and this initiative will help in producing import-substitution and genetic improvement of chili in the local climate.

“Pakistan has tremendous potential to export horticultural products and looks forward to exploring export potential of these products in the Chinese market, said Dr Akmal Siddiq, Technical Advisor MNFS&R.

These two investment initiatives, among others, are in the first batch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects to boost agricultural trade and expand economic activities between the two countries.

China Animal Husbandry Industry Company is also planning a livestock vaccine production plant in Gwadar which will produce vaccines to prevent animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease, where as.

Shandong Rainbow Agriculture Polytron Technologies is planning to set up laboratories for potato seed culture and oilseed development.

The other company Zhengbang Limited has signed an MOU with Fauji Fertilizer Corporation to jointly establish plants to produce pesticides and cattle and poultry feed in the Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone in Faisalabad under the said framework.

Both sides appreciated and expressed satisfaction on the progress in business-to-business initiatives.

In the government-to-government cooperation framework, China will provide technical assistance to establish Centre for Sustainable Management of Plant Pests and Diseases in Karachi. Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences will strengthen technology cooperation with Pakistan counterparts to enhance the capacity of prevention and control of pests and diseases.

China will also help Pakistan in capacity building for cotton-seed technology. Both countries will soon sign an MOU on Strengthening Cooperation on Animal Disease Control. Scientists from both countries will jointly work to enhance prevention and control of pests and diseases.

Both sides agreed to promote transfer of technology and strengthen capacity of the concerned institutions in Pakistan.

Syed Khalid Gardezi, Additional Secretary MNFS&R said that the Joint Working Group is an effective platform for cooperation and trade between Pakistan and China, through which both countries can collaborate in capacity-building, infrastructure development, and transfer of technology.

NI Hongxing said that China looks forward to further strengthen partnership with Pakistan in agriculture.

He hoped that by the next Joint Working Group meeting, in second half of 2023, a meaningful progress will be achieved to expand agricultural trade and deepen
scientific ties between two countries.
 
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October 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal directed the ministries concerned to ‘complete homework’ before the joint cooperation committee (JCC)’s 11th meeting, scheduled to take place at the end of October, so that the presented projects are finalised.

Secretary planning, secretary of communications, executive director CPEC and representatives from different ministries were also present in the meeting.

Premier Shehbaz’s expected visit to China at the end of this month makes this meeting even more important.

Different projects, supposed to be presented in the 11th JCC, were reviewed. These projects were from the areas of energy, information technology, social and economic growth, industrial cooperation, science and technology, transport infrastructure and international cooperation.

Suggestions put forward by ministries were discussed in detail. The federal minister directed the power division to speed up the Gilgit Baltistan’s energy policy process so that progress in the already planned projects is made.

Furthermore, Ahsan Iqbal also directed the ministries to focus on long term projects.
 
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Pakistan suggests several new areas of cooperation in the 11th JCC meeting on CPEC​

October 28, 2022




The proposals were made during the meeting of 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC held here through video conference. The meeting was co-chaired by Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal & Vice Chairman National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), China Mr Lin Nianxiu.
Pakistan also proposed 1+5 arrangements for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) agreements between geological survey institutes of the two countries, an agreement between Geological Survey Intuitions of the two countries, and cooperation to develop export potential of Pakistan.

The Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) on the proposed areas are expected to be signed during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China on November 1, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said while addressing a press conferene here after the meeting. He said under the leadership of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the CPEC has emerged as the topmost national priority of the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

The Minister highlighted three basic objectives in the 11th JCC which includes the revival of CPEC, which has been revived since the government came into power in April this year. The inclusion of new projects which will increase the CPEC’s portfolio and third was Business to Business cooperation, which was earlier based on Government to Government.

The JCC was organized keeping in view the important visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to be scheduled on November 1, 2022 in which all important MoUs will be signed formally, said the minister.

The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will be significant especially, at a time when President Xi Jinping of China has elected a third term as China leader, ” said the minister, while reiterating that the incumbent government has revived the CPEC which remained neglected in the past.

The JCC also highlighted the significance of the key projects for energy and infrastructure development; which are now operational and providing a myriad of opportunities for socio-economic development in Pakistan. These projects include; 2×660 MW Port Qasim Power Plants, 2×660 MW Sahiwal Power Plant, 2×330 MW Engro Thar Power Plants; 50 MW Hydro China Dawood Wind Farm Thatta; 1000 MW Quaid e Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur.

Similarly, in Infrastructure Projects, KKH Phase II (Havelian – Thakot Section), Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (Multan-Sukkur Section), Hakla – D.I Khan Motorway and Orange Line Metro Train – Lahore has been completed.
The meeting was informed by the Ministry of Energy, 11 projects of over 6370 MW have been completed, along with an HVDC Transmission Line of 880 km. Three more projects of around 1200 MW are expected to be completed within 2023-24. It was also informed that another 3100 MW which have achieved 90% milestones for FC (700 MW Azad Pattan HPP, 1124MW Kohala Hydel Project and 1320 MW Thar Coal Block-I), are finalized at the earliest so as to get closer to our envisaged target of 17000 MW.

The project in Motorways & Highways of around 888 Km was also highlighted which has been constructed with both Chinese and local financing (another 853 under construction through local financing). The KKH-Thakot-Havelian, one of the flagship projects of this sector, has received international recognition. Similarly, another priority project, the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) was discussed in length which will benefit a large segment of the population of our largest city of Pakistan, Karachi.

The Provincial Government of Sindh has revised the project documents and its internal processing by GoP is being completed. The project is proposed to be implemented under G2G arrangement on the lines of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project (OLMTP). “We have fulfilled all the formalities to initiate this project as Cabinet also approved it,” said the minister, while highlighting the significance of the project which will have a great positive impact on Pakistan’s economy.

Both sides have also agreed to start the ML-1 project which was considered to be the backbone of the CPEC and remained neglected in the past. It was agreed to include a new area of “Water Resource Management and Climate Change which will have great importance especially after the recent flood which badly affected Pakistan.

Similarly, both sides have agreed to explore new avenues in the Mining sector and it was decided to set up a new working group to explore the sector. The Government of Pakistan has also launched an initiative to include 10,000 MW of Solar energy in our system. The Government of Pakistan requested China to create a financing window or a credit line for Chinese companies participating in this project.

The Cooperation in Agriculture sector was also discussed in length in the 11th JCC, which is one of the essential elements of the second phase of CPEC. Pakistan has finalized some agreements to promote export of Pakistani agricultural items to China which needs to substantially enhance the scope and scale of these products.
 
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Pakistan, China agree to strengthen LEAs capabilities

Shahbaz Rana
November 06, 2022


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed to use bullet-proof vehicles for all outdoor movement of the Chinese nationals working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in order to protect them from terrorist attacks.

According to the draft minutes of the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC, both the sides have also agreed to strengthen capabilities of the law-enforcement agencies and investigators.

The decisions may help address the concerns of the government of China that was not moving forward on the CPEC front until the security of its nationals was fully guaranteed and Pakistan fulfilled its commitments under the energy deals.

“It has been decided that bullet-proof vehicles shall be used for all outdoor movements of the Chinese employed on projects,” said the draft minutes of the 11th JCC, which had been exchanged by Pakistan and China.

Against general expectations, Pakistan and China did not sign the 11th JCC minutes during the two-day visit of the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing earlier this week.

In the past, the minutes were signed immediately after the JCC. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal had said after the meeting that the minutes would be signed during the prime minister’s visit.

“Due to a very short visit of only 24 hours some of the memoranda of understanding, including the minutes of the JCC, could not be signed,” the minister said.

“About 17 meetings took place in a span of 24 hours, which left no time for some other important engagements,” he said, adding that either a delegation would soon go to China for the singing or those would be signed virtually.

The draft minutes further showed that the Chinese side committed to providing security-related equipment for the capacity building of the Pakistani law-enforcement agencies.

In order to speed up the investigations into the crimes, involving the Chinese nationals, it had been decided the National Forensic Science Agency (NFSA) would be built on modern lines.

The Pakistani side requested Chinese support for full upgrade of the National Forensic Science Lab in Islamabad. The Chinese side assured their full support for the purpose, according to the draft minutes.

The Chinese side has also committed to establish a training centre for the private security guards and the LEA personnel to equip them with the modern techniques and modules.

Some terror attacks on Chinese nationals dealt a major blow to the execution of the CPEC projects. In the past, China had even demanded of Pakistan to let its security people protect the Chinese nationals, according to sources.

In view of increasing incidents of terrorism, involving the non-corridor projects, Pakistan had proposed the establishment of a separate joint working group for coordination on the security efforts.

But it was mutually decided that a Joint Technical Expert Working Group (JTEWG) would be established for the security of non-CPEC projects. The JTEWG would evaluate the services of private security companies.

Energy cooperation

The draft minutes suggested that Pakistan had not been able to achieve its goal to fast-track the work on some of the CPEC energy projects, although it once again gave a commitment “to maintain the tax and tariff policies stable”.

Iqbal had suggested that China should expedite work on 701MW Azad Pattan Hydropower Project, 1124MW Kohala Hydel Project and 1,320MW Thar Block-I Shanghai Electric Co Power Plant, including 7.8mpta Mine. These projects have achieved 90% milestones for financial close.

The draft document stated that financial closure would remain dependent on clearance by a Chinese insurance company that was suffering badly due to non-payment of energy dues by Pakistan.

China has not backed out from its demand that Pakistan should timely clear the outstanding dues and set up a revolving bank account.

“The Chinese side appreciated the efforts made by the Pakistani side to fully pay the tariff of CPEC energy projects in a timely manner and hoped for a further increase in the tariff settlement ratio to ensure repayment of the bank loan and normal operation of CPEC energy projects”, according to the draft minutes.

The minutes referred to the CPEC Energy Project Cooperation Agreement signed in 2014, stating “the Chinese side hopes that the Pakistan side would establish a revolving account soon”.

Pakistan has set up an Energy Fund before the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s departure to Beijing but it is not equal to the revolving bank account.

In a positive development, China has agreed to help Pakistan meet its energy needs from indigenous resources through conversion of coal into other products for domestic demand as well as exports.

Transport sector

Pakistan and China have extended the Framework Agreement for $10 billion Main Line (ML)-1 project for the next 5 years, as both sides could not timely begin the project implementation.

The draft minutes suggested that the “Pakistani side has accepted the RMB financing proposal from the Chinese side for the ML-1 project” – withdrawing its demand to get the $8.4 billion loan in mix of US and Chinese currency.

Against Pakistan’s wish to sign a commercial contract, it was agreed that the bidding process of the ML-I project would commence immediately and it would be completed before the end of the year.

This will follow the signing of a commercial contract and financial close of the project. Both sides agreed on the project implementation milestones agreement where the ground breaking of the project is planned in March 2023.

Ahsan Iqbal said that President Xi Jinping has given directions for the fast-track implementation of the ML-I and the Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) project.

Both sides agreed to sign the Framework Agreement on the analogy of the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project (OLMTP) for the execution of the $1.3 billion KCR project.
 
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