BEIJING, China: Prime Minister Imran Khan held a virtual meeting with the Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference He Lifeng in Beijing on Friday.
During the meeting, both sides reviewed the progress of ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and discussed the preparations for future initiatives.
The prime minister was accompanied by the Federal Cabinet Ministers and Senior Officials for the meeting while He Lifeng was accompanied by the Vice-Chairmen Ning Jizhe and Tang Dengjie and other Senior officials of the NDRC.
In his remarks, the prime minister said that Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership was time-tested and timeless.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work on all CPEC projects progressed steadily due to joint cooperation of both sides, he said.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the NDRC and relevant authorities of both sides in this regard.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that as the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC had strategic significance for both Pakistan and China and was delivering tangible benefits to the people of two Countries.
Imran Khan noted with satisfaction that CPEC’s early-harvest projects have transformed Pakistan’s economic landscape thus laying a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth.
Reaffirming the commitment of two sides to timely completion of CPEC and its high-quality development, the prime minister said that both sides would continue expediting efforts to achieve Gwadar’s potential as a hub of regional commerce and industry while also prioritizing preparatory work on the ML-I and other key energy projects.
In his remarks, the Chairman NDRC He Lifeng said that China attached immense significance to CPEC and was firmly committed to its steady progress and development.
The Chairman NDRC noted that China has become Pakistan’s largest investment and trade partner in last seven years and both sides were keen to maintain the momentum of overall economic and trade ties in the future as well.
He Lifeng added that the NDRC and all relevant Chinese institutions would continue their efforts to encourage Chinese state-owned and private enterprises for investment in CPEC projects.
In this regard, both sides had decided to establish new green, digital, health, trade, and industry corridors, which would enhance sector-wise cooperation in these areas.
Thanking Prime Minister Imran Khan for his firm support, the Chairman NDRC He Lifeng expressed China’s readiness to assist Pakistan in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, science and technology, and socio-economic development.
During the meeting, both sides welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation between the Board of Investment (BOI) and the NDRC which would, inter alia, facilitate the relocation of China’s industrial units to CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and accelerate investment from China and elsewhere.
Both sides also signed the Minutes of the 6th JWG meeting on Gwadar which was held on December 30, 2021.
The minutes were signed by the Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and the Vice-Chairman of NDRC Ning Jizhe.