Ahsan Iqbal seeks NDRC support in early completion of ML-I, KCR projects

Ahsan Iqbal seeks NDRC support in early completion of ML-I, KCR projects

ISLAMABAD, Apr 05 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday sought strong support from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and other relevant institutions to advance implementation of the Main Line-1 (ML-I), Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and key energy projects in line with consensus reached between the leadership of the two countries.

The minister, who is currently on a visit to China, asked for early completion of the projects during a meeting with Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Li Chunlin, said a message received here from Beijing.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Finance Tariq Bajwa, Ambassador Moin ul Haque and senior Pakistan Embassy officials accompanied the minister during the meeting.

The Planning Minister paid rich tribute to the leadership of the two countries for providing strategic guidance to the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Ahsan Iqbal highlighted that CPEC had not only been central to Pakistan’s economic growth, but it also contributed to regional connectivity and development.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment to smooth and high-quality development of the next phase of CPEC with a greater focus on the development of industrial parks and Special Economic Zones.

Vice Chairman Li noted that during the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China, the leadership of the two countries reached an important consensus to advance CPEC development and the NDRC was working hard to implement the leadership’s direction.

Ahsan Iqbal said 2023 marked the Decade of CPEC and the strong partnership between the Planning Division and NDRC.

Recalling the signing of the CPEC Framework Agreement in Beijing on July 5, 2013, in the presence of the leadership of the two countries, the minister said that the Government of Pakistan was planning to hold special events to mark the milestone and invited Chinese leadership to attend the events.

In that respect, he also extended an invitation to the NDRC chairman to visit Pakistan and as well as hold a special session of the CPEC Joint Coordination Committee on the occasion.

During the meeting, the two sides expressed satisfaction with the completion of some key projects at the Gwadar Port and agreed to continue the momentum for making it a hub of international trade and regional connectivity.

The minister remarked that Pakistan greatly valued the contributions of the Chinese IPPs (Independent Power Producers)in helping Pakistan achieve energy security and informed the vice chairman about the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan to facilitate their projects.

Vice Chairman Li Chunlin appreciated the contributions of the minister to the advancement of CPEC and his support to NDRC over the years and assured him of NDRC’s long-term commitment to the common objective of high-quality CPEC development.

Noting that the 11th JCC meeting had paved the way for fast-track implementation of CPEC projects, the two sides agreed to start preparing for the 12th JCC and hold technical Joint Working Group meetings on a regular basis every two months to ensure closer coordination.

On the minister’s proposal, the two sides reached a consensus to set up expert groups on enhancing Pakistan’s export potential and development of Special Economic Zones and industrial parks based on the Chinese experience.

Ahsan Iqbal also sought the vice chairman’s support and guidance in the development of high-tech industries based on his own experience of working in Shaanxi province.

APP Services