ISLAMABAD: Pakistan welcomes dev­e­­­­­lopment partners and enterprises from around the globe to strengthen their inv­estment in the country as well as trade lin­kages and consider opportunities offered under the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

During a briefing hosted on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the additional secretary (Asia-Pacific) said the underlying vision of CPEC was based on Pakistan’s “desire for connectivity and interest in deepening linkages with Central Asia, the Middle East, and the East Asian region”.

The two-day briefing came on the heels of the 9th meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Safety and Security of CPEC held at the Chinese embassy on Sept 11.

The briefing, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for resident diplomatic missions of various countries from East and Central Asia and the Middle East, concluded on Friday. The panel of briefers included senior officials of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, and Board of Investment.

Diplomatic missions briefed on CPEC; agreement reached on need for countering hostile elements’ agenda

The additional secretary emphasised that CPEC had added a new dimension to Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, which was based on mutual understanding and respect.

The participating diplomatic missions underscored the need for abiding by “mutual interest in enhancing economic cooperation”.

The JWG’s meeting was co-chaired by Special Secretary of Ministry of Interior Saif Anjum and Director General, Ministry of Public Security, China. Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong also attended the meeting.

At the JWG’s meeting, it was reiterated that ensuring safety and security of CPEC projects in Pakistan “is of immense significance in furthering the bilateral relations”.

The measures taken by the government of Pakistan towards ensuring the safety and security of Chinese projects and personnel in the country and the efforts made towards unearthing the perpetrators and facilitators of terrorist incidents targeting Chinese nationals, were acknowledged and appreciated.

In order to enhance the prospects of bilateral relations, an in-principle agreement had been made on various joint measures, including furthering cooperation in law enforcement domain and capacity building of law enforcement agencies.

The proposal of establishing a separate Joint Working Group for security of non-corridor projects also came under discussion.

Both sides agreed to the need for countering the agenda of hostile elements in ensuring safety and security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan through mutual efforts.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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