China and Pakistan to expand overall framework of CPEC

Engineering Post Report 

Great game changer China-Pakistan  Economic Corridor (CPEC) figured quite significantly when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid two days official visit to time-tested and all weather strategic friend China in the first week of  November 2022 and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier of the State Council  Li Keqiang  among other matters  bilateral, regional and international of interest and concern .

During these meetings, Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to high quality  development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and also highlighted  salience of the CPE as a flagship project  under BRI  to its economic and social development.

These meetings took place 11th CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee on October 27, 2022 held  through video conference during which progress of ongoing projects was reviewed  and it was decided to continue  the momentum of CPEC’s high-quality development.

Up gradation and rehabilitation of Main Line (ML-1) from Peshawar to Karachi was duly recognized  as a project of key significance  under the CPEC framework and of  importance to Pakistan’s socio-economic  development, it was agreed to  advance the process of its early implementation through  consensus at the highest level of the leadership of the two countries. China is mainly finance the mega project through concessional financing loan which is being negotiated by the two sides at the appropriate level  and likely to be signed soon. Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is also to be actively advanced which was an  urgent requirement  for Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial hub.

During the deliberations of the top leaders of the two countries   which took place in Beijing, satisfaction was expressed  on the completion of key projects  of the Gwadar Port which  was  the leading CPEC project and an important mode in cross regional connectivity. It was decided to speed up  progress on other related  projects of the Gwadar Port and Free Zone.

The two countries decided to accelerate cooperation in the areas of agriculture,  mining, Information Technology (IT) , socio-economic development under CPEC

and to further build on the industry, digital and green corridors , health launched earlier this year  carrying onward relevant cooperation.

China appreciated Pakistan government efforts to vigorously develop renewable energy projects including solar projects  which aligned with the green, low carbon and environmental  development of the  energy sector. It was also decided  that the Chinese companies will be encouraged to participate in this endeavor  of Pakistan.

The two countries have also agreed  to actively promote  the implementation of Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation  in order to support industrial development of Pakistan.

China and Pakistan  during their top leaders deliberations also expressed  their strong determination  to counter all threats and designs against  CPEC and China-Pakistan friendship.. Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in the country.

During this visit,  the two countries have also signed and concluded a number of agreements/ MoUs covering bilateral cooperation in areas of e-commerce, digital economy , export of agricultural product,  financial cooperation, protection of cultural property, infrastructure,  flood relief, post disaster reconstruction , Global Development Initiative (GDI), animal disease control, livelihood, cultural cooperation, space,  geoscience as well as  law enforcement and security.