Recently, Wang Yu, Consul General of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Karachi, said at a meeting on the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that 27 new projects will be launched at the end of this year in CPEC’s Phase II development. This will further enrich the activities and promote Pakistan’s social and economic development.
At the meeting organized by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, Wang said that earlier this year, China and Pakistan signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the Phase II of CPEC and the 27 projects included in the MoU will be launched at the end of 2019. The 27 projects cover agriculture, industry, education, water resources, and professional and technical training.
To further speed up the development of CPEC and tap its full potential, under the instruction of Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, the country’s Ministry of Planning Development & Reform (MPDR) founded the Bureau of CPEC Affairs. The former CPEC Centre of Excellence was now integrated to the Bureau for resource optimization.
On August 8, Prime Minister Khan hosted the first meeting of the Pakistan National Development Council (NDC), where discussions were made on the development plan, security, and solutions for Balochistan, Gwadar smart city master planning, and the Bureau of CPEC Affairs.
At the meeting, Khan pointed out that to boost the CPEC development, the Government of Pakistan would strengthen its support for all provinces, step up capability building and security improvement, reduce provincial fiscal deficits, and empower provinces in taxation.
To fast-track CPEC projects, NDC also adopted the Charter of CPEC Regulatory Agency for smooth implementation.
On August 29, the Gwadar Working Group of CPEC held its fourth meeting at Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, co-hosted by the Department of International Cooperation, China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and MPDR. Gwadar projects in progress were discussed, especially the Gwadar Port, Gwadar Free Zone, New Gwadar International Airport, 300 MW thermal power plant, Gwadar’s smart port city master plan, East Bay Expressway, etc. Participants also discussed solutions to existing problems and agreed on the next step.
Both countries also exchanged on strengthening security and deepening cooperation in public welfare. They also signed the Donation Agreement for the Expansion of the China-Pakistan Faqeer Primary School in Gwadar.
At the same time, the NDRC delegation also met with the Pakistan Board of Investment. Both parties agreed to push ahead the development of special economic zones under the CPEC framework. Agreement was also reached on starting the construction of the Rashakai Economic Zone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in September 2019.