- Board of Investment and the National Development and Reform Commission has agreed to advance industrial cooperation under CPEC.
- In the first phase of CPEC, various energy and infrastructure projects have begun commercial operation while the second phase of CPEC will focus on industrial cooperation.
- Two sides discussed the agenda for the Joint Working Group on industrial cooperation and the forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee.
China and Pakistan have agreed to fast-track the pace of industrial cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Under the fast-track pace, Chinese experience will be utilized to ensure speedy development of special economic zones (SEZs) in the country.
Meeting of the Board of Investment:
This was decided during a meeting of the Board of Investment (BoI), jointly chaired by Secretary BoI, Omer Rasul and Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Deputy Director-General GaoJian.
Secretary BoI, Omer Rasul, briefed the NDRC delegation about the steps taken by Pakistan to ensure the early implementation of industrial cooperation.
He informed that under the first phase of CPEC various energy and infrastructure projects have begun commercial operations. The second phase will focus on industrial cooperation as envisioned, he added.
Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
The secretary BoI told the meeting that Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be launched in September.
Furthermore, two SEZs including China Special Economic Zone, Dhabeji and Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3), Faisalabad would follow a similar pattern of development.
The government has alerted all the relevant ministries and the sufficient funds have already been allocated to start provision of utilities at the SEZs.
The NDRC delegation appreciated efforts of Pakistan and said:
“Chinese investors are keen to invest in the SEZs being developed under CPEC.”
The industrial cooperation under CPEC can help Pakistan develop its industrial cluster based on its potentials. The Chinese side also offered to train and equip Pakistan’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), making them technologically sound and competitive to increase the country’s exports.
Agenda for Joint Working Group:
Officials from China and Pakistan also discussed agenda for Joint Working Group on industrial cooperation and forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee that is going to be held in October/November this year.
CPEC is a flagship program of Belt and Road initiative and it is now entering into a new phase. The priority in the second phase of CPEC is on socioeconomic sector projects, with grant financing for the direct benefit of the common man.
The meeting was chaired by GaoJian, he declared industrial cooperation as the main focus of CPEC saying:
“It will help Pakistan in developing its industrial cluster according to its potential.”
To promote industrial development in order to augment Pakistan’s capacity to export was a priority area for the Chinese government.
The incumbent government’s vision is better than those of previous governments which overlooked the welfare of the common man.
Earlier in July, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms MakhdoomKhusroBakhtiar held a press conference.
He stated that under the CPEC, industrial and agricultural agreements were reached between Pakistan and China, and the government is committed to continuing the project.
He revealed that the second phase of the CPEC is being initiated by the government. He termed it an unfortunate situation that from the last four years no progress could be achieved on the Gwadar Port.
He also said that the government is acting accordingly with the agreements and termed the economic corridor as ‘vital’ for the country to recover from the current financial crisis.
Second Phase of CPEC:
The first phase of CPEC involved an expenditure of nearly US$20 billion, targeted energy and infrastructure. The second phase of CPEC will focus more on socio-economic development.
Following the vision and will of the government of Pakistan, priority in this phase will be given to socio-economic development to help the Pakistani public to the maximum extent.
The second phase CPEC is very important for Pakistan because it will give a boost to industrial cooperation and give birth to Special Economic Zones.
Setting up Special Economic Zones:
The setting up of Special Economic Zones would create new opportunities for entrepreneurs of both countries for forming joint ventures and investing in areas of interest.
Further, several companies in China are interested in investing and setting up factories in Pakistan because it is the best place for them.
China is Eager to Invest in Pakistan:
China has agreed to launch 27 new projects in Pakistan under the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor this year.
China is eager to invest in Pakistan but it also needs to know that the investments it makes are sound and that it will also earn money here and for this, there is a need for a fine transport system for the transportation of goods, new airports, etc.
The second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is now set to expedite industrial collaboration. It would help attract private investments and diversify the country’s exports. In the second phase of CPEC, industrialization and agriculture growth would be the main goals of the current regime.
The focus is to boost Pakistan’s industrial capacity through joint ventures in priority areas, relocation of labor-intensive export-led industry and collaboration of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enhance vocational training capacity.
With the momentum of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a world of opportunities has opened up setting fundamentals of industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China.
CPEC is the flagship project that had made tremendous progress within the last two years in the completion of infrastructure and energy projects. Investments from China and technology and Pakistani location and low production cost combined together made a winning combination.