Preparations for 10th JCC on CPEC reviewed, business-to-business linkages to get a boost

The conveners of the respective Joint Working Groups (JWGs) under the CPEC framework briefed the meeting presided by Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar to review the preparations for the upcoming 10th JCC meeting on CPEC. on the agenda and proposed deliverables for the 10th JCC. The progress on prioritized special economic zones was also reviewed. Both countries are also expected to sign a framework agreement for the construction of a western route road project. Moreover, Asad Umar stressed on the need to improve the business environment to attract investment from Chinese enterprises.

ISLAMABAD: After a pause of several months because of pandemic, Pakistan and China have decided to convene the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting to implement the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday chaired a consultative meeting to review preparations for the meet in Islamabad. All the conveners of the respective Joint Working Groups (JWGs) under the CPEC framework, including CPEC Authority chairman, Planning, Communications, and Foreign Affairs secretaries, and officials from line ministries and representatives from all relevant departments attended the meeting.

The conveners of the JWGs and their representatives briefed the minister on the agenda and proposed deliverables for the 10th JCC. The minister expressed satisfaction over the preparations and suggested deliverables for the JCC.

Under the JWGs on Transport and Infrastructure, Asad Umar agreed to take up the DI Khan–Zhob highway project with the Chinese side for funding. He also agreed that new projects — Swat Express Way Phase–II and Peshawar-D I Khan Motorway —would be considered in the next JCC after the approval of the PC-I. Greater Peshawar Mass Transit was also discussed and it was decided that the project would be taken up with the Chinese side after the completion of a study.

Progress on the prioritized CPEC SEZs — Rashakai, Dhabeji, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3) — was also reviewed.

The minister stressed the need to take immediate action to encourage the Chinese investors to invest in the SEZs. He emphasized measures to enhance business-to-business links between China and Pakistan, facilitate investment from Chinese enterprises and increase industrial competitiveness of business in Pakistan through technology transfer, world class managerial and industrial practices and skills.

He directed the National Food Security and Research Ministry to select need-based specific projects for agriculture to take up with the Chinese counterparts and said the FMD free zone for Balochistan should also be the part of the upcoming JCC.

The minister would convene follow-up meetings on industrial cooperation, agriculture, Gwadar and socio-economic development sector in the coming week to further refine the deliverables for the 10th JCC.