The 7th meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held here on Tuesday to review and approve the various development projects in the mega development project. Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal and his Chinese counterpart jointly headed JCC meeting. Around 150 high officials from Pakistan and China attended the meeting along with the Chief Ministers of all the provinces and Prime Minister AJK. The representatives of private sector including trade and industry chambers also participated in the meeting for the first time.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal said that 7th JCC in Pakistan is a milestone towards realizing the CPEC and noted that people of Pakistan valued the multifaceted cooperation extended by government and people of China to Pakistan. He said that CPEC now entered into the first phase of its completion and 7th JCC is of historical significance to finalize the long-term plan of project. “The long-term plan will give new dimensions to bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan”, he believed. Ahsan Iqbal said that long term plan would expand the scope of cooperation in various new areas including cooperation in social sectors along with the economic fields. Along with infrastructure development and upgradation, education and health sectors would also be targeted for their improvement and upgradation under CPEC.
About private sector’s representation, Minister said that it has been given to private sector in 7th JCC meeting to take on board private sector in this project, which is a game changer not only for Pakistan but for entire region.
Minister announced that both countries would organize exchange of trade and business delegations on official level to speed up the pace of project. He underlined the need for expansion in the administrative structure and scope of cooperation in CPEC.
Speaking about Gwadar, gateway of CPEC, Ahsan said that projects in Gwadar are of utmost importance for the people of Gwadar and national development. He said that CPEC’s energy projects are fast heading towards their completion. The establishment of special economic zones would now start after 7th JCC, which is the hallmark of this project. “Cooperation in industrial sector would ensure transfer of technology, knowledge and skills to Pakistan, he remarked.
Ahsan Iqbal opined that CPEC is also helping to promote knowledge based economy in Pakistan, which is the need of new age in the world.