China and Pakistan take yet another important initiative under CPEC cooperation

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China and Pakistan take yet another important initiative under CPEC cooperation

ISLAMABAD - China appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Pakistani side to elevate the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on industrial cooperation into a framework for an increased cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and agreed to continue consultation for its signing at the earliest.

The Chinese side also appreciated the idea of joint industrial diagnostic studies followed by an action plan, said a press release issued by Board of Investment (BoI) here on Tuesday.

The 5th meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation (IC) under CPEC was held via video conference here.

The meeting was co-chaired by BoI Additional Secretary Khashih-ur-Rehman, and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) director general, China Ying Xiong, officials from line ministries, provincial governments, and embassies attended the meeting.

Concluding the meeting, the BoI additional secretary said it is the right time to resume the activities with mutual consensus in due course for which the Pakistani side will ensure all out support.

He also requested the Chinese side to arrange industrial visits of Pakistani delegations to provide them with firsthand experience of successful industrial models in China.

The meeting also discussed progress made on Rashakai, Dhabeji, Allama Iqbal Industrial City and Bostan Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC, the revival project of Pakistan Steel Mills, China Pakistan Young Workers Exchange and Cooperation, and Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone.

BoI Additional Secretary/EDG Khashih-ur-Rehman expressed that elevation of the MoU on IC between Pakistan and China, into a comprehensive framework would create new avenues for strengthening industrial cooperation under CPEC which is also open to third party participation.

BoI Project Management Unit (PMUC-CPEC-ICDP) on IC Project Director Asim Ayub appreciated the Chinese side for accepting the draft framework agreement shared by the Pakistani side in early November 2020.

He commented that early signing of the framework agreement on IC would help to achieve maximum objectives of CPEC in line with its long-term plan.

Immense efforts have been ensured by the Pakistani side to devise the draft framework, taking all the provinces and other stakeholders on board and final approval of the Honorable Prime Minister was also obtained accordingly.

He stressed that a framework agreement is needed for the hour for a measurable impact with regards to IC, SEZs, Business to Business and People to People collaboration.

The project director further accentuated that Pakistan highly regards the idea of industrial diagnosis by the Chinese side and extended its highest support to the group of experts from CIECC for the Textile Industrial Diagnosis last year.

However, he was of the view that the industrial diagnosis needs to be carried out in a joint manner involving experts from both sides who may submit the diagnosis report to the JWG along with an action plan that would be imperative for the respective industrial sector.