PM Imran stresses need to expedite progress on CPEC projects

PM Imran stresses need to expedite progress on CPEC projects

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday directed to further expedite progress on the projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

According to details, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting in Islamabad to review progress on CPEC projects and set targets for short to mid-term phase, focusing on cooperation in industrial, socio-economic, agriculture and Gwadar.

He said that the early completion of the projects was in Pakistan’s interest as it would create huge opportunities of socio-economic progress of the country.

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 finalised to ensure ground breaking in first half of 2019.

The PM said Pakistan could greatly benefit from Chinese experience of steering its people from poverty.

He 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.

The meeting also decided 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.

Meanwhile, a high level committee was formed to finalise modalities on Pakistan Railways ML-1-the strategic project of CPEC. The committee would comprise ministers for Planning, Railway and Finance.

The PM also directed that Pakistan side should finalise road map for promoting agriculture sector, inviting Chinese companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and leverage agro value chains.