Briefing on 2nd Belt & Road Forum, CPEC and PM Imran Khan’s Visit to China

Briefing on 2nd Belt & Road Forum, CPEC and PM Imran Khan’s Visit to China

The Chief executive of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan is going to participate in the 2ndBelt and Road (B&R) forum which is about to be held on April 25-27, 2019. Despite the fact that various states are going to be part of this forum China holds prestige for Prime Minister Khan. On the occasion Imran Khan will be delivering a key note oration.

Chinese people and leadership anxiously awaits for the delegation led by Prime Minister Imran Khan to further discuss areas of cooperation and bud a consensus on various matters. This is the second visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China.

President Xi Jinping with his team are looking forward to interact with PM Khan, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said while giving media brief. He added that it’s been 5 years since the mega project CPEC was initiated under B&R umbrella. While referring to CPEC, he further said that the project is going with persistence and 11 projects have been completed under CPEC while remaining 11 are underway with rapid progress going on them. Furthermore, he said that the second phase of CPEC would be all about education, health, poverty elevation, agriculture and industrial cooperation. Only 1 mega project would be on list in the second phase.  

Vast audience attended the press briefing by Mr. Yao Jing including Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Lijian Zhao, Chinese embassy officials and senior electronic and print media professionals. Number of questions were asked to Mr. Yao Jing about the progress, pace, opportunities and challenges related to CPEC. Questions regarding general relations between both countries were also asked.

Ambassador Yao Jing negated the notion that any concerns are expressed by the Chinese government related to the ambition of current government towards the fruitful completion of CPEC. He added such notions are not worthy when the Prime Minister himself expressed the resolute to successful completion of the project.

The brother bond and partnership between both the countries is growing from Nov 2018 – April 2019.

Mr. Yao Jing said that the visit by the Prime Minister Imran Khan will beneficial for both the countries. He further added that the BRI is an initiative by China is for regional collective prosperity.

Mr. Yao Jing said the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) along with other agreements related to CPEC will be singed on April 28. He said the FTA took eight years of negotiations and would be signed by the commerce ministers of both countries during Prime Minister’s visit. Also adding he referred that China will accommodate market access to 90pc of Pakistani commodities at zero rate duty, whereas Pakistan will provide access to 65pc under FTA-Phase II. 

The ambassador said leaders of the world, which include head of states and government form 37 countries, would be attending the roundtable summit of the Forum, but Pakistan is important of all as it is the major partner of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Ambassador informed that under the umbrella of industrial corporation through CPEC, the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Rashakai is about to be inaugurated soon this month where initially 20 factories would be set up. In context to SEZs he assured that there will be local Pakistanis as the employees and technologies will be transferred.

Mr. Yao Jing said that 26 new projects will be initiated which will be focused on six areas of social sectors including health, water, agriculture, education, irrigation and poverty alleviation. In order to uplift the standards of lower segment of society two model villages will be built in Pakistan under the social sector cooperation of CPEC, he said.

Mr. Ambassador said that China revolutionized itself by bringing reforms in the agricultural sphere and now will help Pakistan to do the same by linking agriculture and technology.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed likewise on the event between All Pakistan China Entrepreneurs Association (APCEA) and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) to give talented workforce to Chinese organizations working on different projects in Pakistan. Chairman of NAVTTC Syed Javed Hassan in his precise address said NAVTTC is glad to be related with Chinese organizations and would give all the needed workforce to them. “We have more than 600,000 database of exceedingly gifted specialists and workers and would be glad to take into account the Chinese business firms and organizations,” he said. Official Director of NAVTTC Dr Nasir Khan was additionally present on the event.

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