CPEC projects to be expedited: Asad Umar

Updated February 22, 2020

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FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar gestures during a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's Finance Minister Asad Umar gestures during a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood/File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday said the pace of implementation on projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be accelerated in the coming days.

He made these remarks while meeting the Ambassador of Peoples Republic of China Yao Jing on Friday.

The two sides discussed matters relating to the CPEC, business-to-business collaboration between the two countries and social sector development in Pakistan.

The minister expressed his satisfaction at the overall delivery of CPEC-related projects and said the establishment and operationalisation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was government’s top priority and the progress in that regard is being closely monitored.

The SEZs, he said would act as a catalyst in increasing growth of local manufacturing.

Ambassador Jing appreciated government’s efforts to fast-track the CPEC projects and expressed his desire to put special focus on rail transport, hydel power projects, social sector development projects and business to business collaboration between the two neighbours.

He further said that China will also invest in the low-cost housing programme initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Chinese ambassador said the meetings of some of the joint-working groups would be held through video conferencing to ensure preparation for the upcoming joint coordination committee meeting without any delay.

Umar said the federal and provincial governments are interested in the Karachi Circular Railway project and shared updates on the project with the ambassador.

He emphasised the need for increasing B2B collaboration in banking, telecom and digital finance, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020