ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP):Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr. Fehmida Mirza Monday directed the provincial governments to identify desired areas of cooperation with China saying it was a high time for both countries to engage more deeply.
The minister issued directions while chairing a meeting of provincial/local governments’ representatives for Pak-China Year of Friendship Sister Provinces/Cities 2019, here Monday, said a press release.
In the meeting it was briefed that Prime Minister of Pakistan visited China last year and it was agreed to celebrate 2019 as year of friendship with China. The leadership of the two countries agreed to enhance exchanges and dialogue between leaders at provincial/city levels to expand cooperation.
Dr. Mirza underscored the importance of investing more in socio-economic sector and said that it was a high time for Pakistan and China to engage more deeply. Establishing contacts and cooperation at city to city or at local governments level can further strengthen bilateral relations, she added.
It was told that under Pakistan-China Sister Cities, there were a number of MOUs signed between different cities of Pakistan and China but those were generally dormant with no active people to people and economic cooperation.
Establishing new provinces/sister cities relationships between the two countries is the spirit of 2019 Year of Friendship Sister Provinces/Cities.
The IPC Ministry was made the focal ministry in this regard. “It is a great opportunity to enhance our cooperation with China in different areas” the minister said.
She also directed the representatives of different provincial governments and cities to formulate proposals, with a defined time frame and budgetary allocations, to identify the desired areas of cooperation, including exchange between the local governments, Heads and Deputy Heads, enhancement of trade and investment, energy/ industrial linkages, exchange of culture, sports, tourism, youth exchanges, agriculture and people to people contact with their sister cities of China.
The minister stressed the provinces/cities to come up with innovative ideas to enhance engagement with different cities of China for this calendar year. Nominations of the focal persons to coordinate provincial governments would also be finalized at the earliest. The follow-up meeting will be commenced soon.