ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Wednesday said consensus among stakeholders had been developed on the Gwadar City Master Plan, which would be finalized at the earliest.
The minister was talking to Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, who called on him here. Matters of mutual interest, including progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, came under discussion during the meeting, a press statement issued by the ministry here said.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan and Project Director CPEC Hasaan Daud Butt.
The minister highlighted the need to expedite progress on Gwadar's projects such as new international airport, hospital, vocational institutes and power plant. The projects would not only create conducive environment for future investment but would help upgrade facilities for local population, he added.
He said all was set to attract more trilateral investment here in future.
The minister appreciated that Chinese experts on socio-economic development were visiting Pakistan during the current month to discuss cooperation in agriculture, education, medical treatment, poverty alleviation, water supply and vocational training projects.
He hailed the Chinese government for financial support to initiate pilot projects for poverty alleviation and informed that Pakistan side would identify sites for workable as well as impact creating projects with the input of provincial governments in the same sector.
Bakhtyar reiterated that all measures would be taken to fast track the industrial cooperation by ensuring development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
The ground breaking of the Rashakai SEZ would be done soon, he added.
He said the federal government would facilitate in providing utilities such as power, gas supplies and road infrastructure to all SEZs under CPEC, aiming at speedy development of those projects.
He asked the Chinese government to encourage state-owned and private sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan.
The minister highlighted importance of agriculture sector development for Pakistan economic uplift and said federal and provincial governments would come up with a viable road map for the forthcoming JWG meeting on agriculture.
"We promote technology transfer, trade facilitation and scientific as well technical cooperation in this important sector," he said.
He also stated that Pakistan would welcome Chinese agriculture sector companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan for input supplies as well as in food production processing, logistics, marketing and exports in a vertically integrated way or through joint ventures with Pakistani companies.
The minister underscored the need to finalize preliminary design of Pakistan Railways ML-1 up gradation so that negotiation on financial matters may commence.
Both sides agreed to start prepare tangible deliverable for the Prime Minister’s visit to China to participate in Belt and Road Forum, planned in April this year.