ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday decided to take up at least three major road projects for inclusion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) being scheduled for third week of November.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar presided over a consultative meeting to review the preparations for the upcoming 10th JCC meeting on CPEC. All the conveners of the respective Joint Working Groups (JWGs) under CPEC framework including Secretary Planning, Chairman CPEC Authority, Secretary Communications, and Secretary Foreign Affairs besides officials from line ministries and representatives from all relevant departments attended the meeting.

The conveners of the JWGs and their representatives briefed the meeting on the agenda and proposed deliverables for the 10th JCC. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the preparations and suggested deliverables for the JCC, an official statement said.

Under the JWG on Transport and Infrastructure, the meeting agreed to take up D.I Khan-Zhob highway project — key segment of the Western border — with the Chinese side for funding in the meeting of the respective JWG. The meeting also decided that new projects should be considered in the next JCC after approval of the PC-Is including Swat Express Way Phase-II and Peshawar-D.I Khan Motorway.

Greater Peshawar Mass Transit was also discussed and it was decided that the project will be taken up with the Chinese side after the completion of feasibility study.

Progress on prioritised CPEC SEZs including Rashakai, Dhabeji, Alama Iqbal Industrial City (M3) was also reviewed. While discussing progress in industrial cooperation sector under CPEC, Asad stressed the need to take immediate actions to encourage the Chinese investors to invest in SEZs.

He emphasised to enhance business-to-business linkages between China and Pakistan; facilitate increased investment from Chinese enterprises, enhance industrial competitiveness of business in Pakistan; through technology transfer, world class managerial and industrial practices and skills transfer.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020