ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that there has been progress on the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project and hoped that both Pakistan and China will soon enter into the implementation phase in order to upgrade the infrastructure of Pakistan Railways.
While addressing the 10th Joint Coordination Committee on CPEC on Thursday, the minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Asad Umar said that the government considers the CPEC project critical for future growth and development of the Country. He said that all the federal and provincial governments as well as political parties are supportive of and standing behind the corridor project.
The federal minister expressed the confidence that they will realize the vision of their two leaders and meet the expectations of their nations by working together.
The minister for planning and development pointed out that the first phase of the CPEC has already provided dividends in the shape of filling in voids in energy and communication infrastructure. He said that the second phase of the project is now successfully underway which has a much broader scope of cooperation.
Asad Umar said that accelerated industrial cooperation in the form of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is the testimony to the broadening and deepening of the CPEC. He said that we have also progressed on the development and operationalization of Gwadar Port and Free Zone.
The minister said that it has been decided to establish a dedicated investor facilitation center for Chinese companies to fully facilitate Chinese investment in the Country. He said that we have also brought about significant improvement in the visa regime for the Chinese workers and investors.
As regards the security of the CPEC related projects, Asad Umar said that many Countries in the world are unhappy and nervous by the successful development of the CPEC. He said that Pakistan has designed an expanded security system that has been shared with the Chinese side to provide a secure working environment to those working on corridor-related projects.