Monday, December 13, 2021
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CPEC on track despite challenges, Phase-II projects meeting deadlines: Asad Umar

The Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives said on Thursday that despite many challenges, the game-changer China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was progressing successfully as many projects under the corridor have been completed in accordance with their set deadlines.

The development of the CPEC project continued despite the Covid-19 pandemic that had hit the whole world badly, the minister said while chairing the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) virtual meeting. “The CPEC cooperation successfully stood the test of time during the pandemic and work on all CPEC projects continued mainly due to the resolute commitment of the top leadership of both the countries,” he said. He said that it was a reflection of the priorities assigned by both the countries to CPEC that even at the time of the most challenging circumstances the CPEC projects continued and met the deadlines that were the sources of satisfaction for all of us.

The federal minister said that it was a matter of pride that phase-I had been completed successfully which was focused on the development of energy, communication and infrastructure projects while Phase-II was also successfully underway which offers a broader scope of cooperation. “This Phase is focused on accelerated industrial cooperation, trade, agriculture and socio-economic development.” He said that the industrial zones of Rashakai and Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad were testimony to the deepening of CPEC. He said that there was also progress on the development and operationalization of Gwadar port and free zone and it was a reflection of the optimism we have had in the future of CPEC, particularly the industrial cooperation. The minister said that the CPEC South Zone of Gwadar was more or less complete while the prime minister had recently inaugurated the North Zone, which is around 37 times larger than the South zone of Gwadar.

He said other than Chinese investment, Pakistan would also welcome investments from other countries in the project. He said, learning from Chinese experiences, the government had shifted the focus of development towards the backward areas to bring them at par with developed regions of the country.

Asad said that other than the CPEC investments, the government was also investing substantial resources on its own for CPEC projects on the Western route adding many development projects were underway in Balochistan to make Gwadar an effective port. Phase-II had also had a special focus on the development of agriculture and livestock, which he said had tremendous potential, adding that an agreement to this effect was signed last year to pave way for its development, he added.

He said that Pakistan currently was in dire need of developing the agriculture sector to help farmers and low-income people earn good income while for the future it had to focus on science and technology.

“Agriculture is what we need today and for the future, we need to develop science and technology infrastructure to usher in a new era,” he said. Talking about the security issues, the minister said that since many countries were not happy with CPEC, which has achieved a high profile globally, the security is also being provided to commensurate with its profile.

Asad Umar said that since the last JCC the world has changed a lot due to the impact of Covid-19, which has posed a great challenge to the world, perhaps the first such challenge in a century, however, expressed satisfaction that both China and Pakistan deal with it effectively.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that both of our countries have been able to deal with the pandemic in an effective manner,” he said. He lauded Chinese government support, terming it unprecedented at a time when all other countries were prioritizing their own citizens compared to the rest of the world in providing vaccines. China provided much-needed support to Pakistan to combat Covid-19.

He also congratulated governments and peoples of both Pakistan and China on the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations and on the completion of 100 years of the Communist Party of China. Earlier, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, Ning Jizhe expressed satisfaction over the development of various projects under CPEC.

KCCDZ project: Secretary says BoI has made efforts to facilitate MoU signing between KPT, CRBC

ISLAMABAD: Board of Investment (BoI) Secretary Fareena Mazhar stated that the BOI, as the convenor of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation under the CPEC, has undertaken rigorous efforts to facilitate the signing of an MoU between Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone (KCCDZ) project.

Consensus was reached to make the KCCDZ project a part of the CPEC framework during the fifth meeting of the JWG on Industrial Cooperation held on 15th December 2020.

The MoU will pave way for resolution of infrastructure issues plaguing the city of Karachi, besides fostering maritime development, and providing job opportunities through generation of sustainable economic activity based on transfer of technology to the country’s maritime industry.

The meeting was co-convened by the BoI and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China.

She expressed these views during the much-awaited 10th meeting of the apex Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC held here in Islamabad on 23rd September 2021, wherein, it was also mutually agreed by the Pakistani and Chinese sides that the Draft Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under the CPEC will be finalised and signed before the next JCC meeting.

The said Framework Agreement was initiated by the BOI and, it was shared with the Chinese side after fulfilling all codal formalities in November 2020.

The Draft Framework Agreement emphasises on Business-to-Business (B2B) and people-to-people collaborations to successfully accomplish the envisaged goals during the second phase of the CPEC.

As CPEC Industrial Cooperation requires active participation of private sectors from both sides, the secretary BOI stressed on the pressing need for the establishment of an effective communication mechanism to ensure regular interactions and exchange of ideas with the NDRC.

She underscored the significance of periodic deliberations to explore new avenues of enhanced bilateral cooperation, which would also play a key role in mobilising the engagement of the private sector enterprises.

Furthermore, during the 10th JCC meeting, the Chinese side apprised that efforts are being undertaken by the NDRC and pertinent Chinese institutions to expedite the finalisation of the Framework Agreement, as it will further cement the industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan during the 2nd phase of the CPEC.

Moreover, progress update of Dhabeji SEZ, Sindh, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC), Punjab, and Bostan SEZ, Balochistan was also discussed.

Whereby, the BOI Secretary informed that the BOI has sped up provision of utilities to the SEZs and both the AIIC and Boston SEZs are open for sale of plot to potential investors.

Both sides also discussed the progress made in the development of the CPEC SEZs, especially the Rashakai SEZ in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, which was recently launched in May 2021, while the signing ceremony of the Development Agreement of the Rashakai SEZ was coordinated by the BoI in September 2020.

The Secretary BOI further stated that the BoI is working diligently to improve the business environment in the country with special emphasis on industrial relocation from China, envisaging to boost the investors’ confidence that will also pave way for third country participation under the CPEC.

The BoI has also established a Pakistan China B2B Investment Portal in collaboration with the China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP) to bring together Pakistani and Chinese businesses for potential joint ventures in the country. She welcomed export-oriented Chinese companies to form JV partnerships in Pakistan and contribute to further strengthening bilateral investment cooperation.

Mazhar further informed that an MoU on industrial cooperation was signed between Pakistan and China in 2018, and based on this MoU, the BoI facilitated the Chinese side to take up the initiative of industrial diagnosis for the purpose of sharing technical and managerial know-how.

In this regard a textile industrial diagnosis was carried out by Chinese experts in 2019 and its report was well received by relevant stakeholders from both sides in the textile sector.

The BoI and the NDRC agreed to resume industrial diagnosis of other priority sectors of the economy through a mutually agreed action plan.

Seven Projects Being Executed To Reinforce Gas Transmission Network

ISLAMABAD: The two state-owned companies, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) are in process of executing at least seven major projects to reinforce gas transmission and distribution systems in their respective areas.

The SNGPL is constructing a 12 kilometers (KMs) pipeline to supply 30 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) gas to Rashakai Special Economic Zone. “The project is expected to be completed by the end of December 2021,” according to an official document available with APP.

Similarly, a 20-KM pipeline is being laid to provide 40 MMCFD gas to Allama Iqbal Industrial City Special Economic Zone, which is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2021- 22.

However, in order to supply 5 MMCFD gas to Allama Iqbal Industrial City on a temporary basis, a 2-KM main supply line had already been laid and commissioned by extending the existing network of M-3 Industrial City.

Whereas, a project is being launched to address the acute low gas pressure issues during winter season in Mardan and Peshawar regions, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,296 million for system augmentation of transmission Charsadda-Khazana-Tangi pipeline.

The SNGPL is confident that a 22-KM transmission main line from Barki to Sunder and a 10 km from Dial to G.

T Road is expected to be completed by December 2021.

On the SSGC network, a 3.5-KM pipeline would be constructed at a cost of Rs149.41 million for supplying 13 MMCFD gas to Bin Qasim Industrial Park, Karachi.

The company also got approval for laying 8.7-KM pipeline to supply 10 MMCFD gas to Bostan Special Economic Zone, Balochistan at an estimated cost of Rs 731.447.

During the current fiscal year, the two companies would collectively invest Rs17,571 million on transmission projects, Rs91,812 million on distribution projects, and Rs 3,156 million on other projects, bringing the total investment of Rs112,539 million.

During the first eight months of the last fiscal year, the companies provided the gas facility to around 70 villages and towns, laid 143 KMs gas transmission network, 2,616 KMs distribution and 886 KMs services lines across their operational areas.

Pakistan has an extensive gas network of over 13,315 KMs Transmission 149,715 KMs Distribution and 39,612 Kilometers (KMs) services gas pipelines to cater to the requirement of more than 10.3 million consumers across the country.

Govt okays Rs1.625bn to finance 13 petroleum projects

The federal government has released Rs1.625 billion for the completion of seven ongoing and six new petroleum-related projects to improve the energy sector, under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

According to details, Rs1,473.683 million are to be distributed among the seven ongoing schemes, out of which Rs263m were meant for the establishment of National Minerals Data Centre (NMDC), Rs345.321 for Expansion and up-gradation of Pakistan Petroleum Core House (PETCORE), Rs30m for Geological Mapping on 50 Toposheets, out of 354 unmapped Toposheets of Outcrop Area of Balochistan province, Rs385.336m for strengthening and up-gradation of Karachi Laboratories Complex (KLC) at HDIP Operations Office, Karachi, Rs76.580m for the supply of 13.5 MMCFD gas at Doorstep (Zero Point) of Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Sindh, Rs 230m for the supply of 30MMCFD gas at Doorstep (Zero Point) of Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Rs143.446m for up-gradation of POL testing facilities of HDIP at Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and ISO Certification of Petroleum Testing Laboratory at Islamabad.

Similarly, Rs1,775.857m have been allocated to fund the new schemes, out of which Rs40m were kept for development of Strategic Underground Gas Storage (SUGS), Rs30m for Legal Consultancy Services for drafting of Model Mineral Agreement and updating of Regulatory Framework (Federal and Provincial Minerals/Coal Departments) prepared by Mineral Wing, Petroleum Division, Rs40m for Pakistan National Research Programme on Geological Hazards (Earthquakes and Landslides) – Data Acquisition along Active Faults and Identification of Potential Landslides Hotspot Zones, Rs73.447m for the supply of 10 MMCFD RLNG to Bostan Special Economic Zone, Rs149.410m for the supply of 13 MMCFD RLNG to Bin Qasim Industrial Park and Rs785m for the supply of 40 MMCFD gas/RLNG to Allama Iqbal Industrial City Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Faisalabad.

Chinese invested over $1b in 2nd phase of CPEC in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Various leading Chinese companies have invested over one billion US dollars in different sectors in the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan which would not only create job opportunities but also make the country’s economy strong, vibrant, robust and export-oriented.

This was stated by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC and Chairman CPEC Khalid Masroor while addressing a news conference at the CPEC head office along with Chinese businessmen after meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan here yesterday.

Sharing the details, Khalid Masroor said that CEOs of eight Chinese companies met the PM and briefed him about their investment plans and also bottlenecks which they are facing in their projects in Pakistan.

He said these companies have invested in Faisalabad Industrial City and their assembling and production plants have started working.

A Chinese company, the expert in making prefab homes, has been given land and it has invested $20 million in setting up its plant which would make cost-effective homes on five-marla land with a cost of four million only.

Khalid Masroor said another Chinese company, an expert in producing cheap transport of two and three-wheelers, has also been allotted land for their production facility. He said these two and three-wheeler transport would be electric vehicles.

He also said another Chinese company known for LEDs has invested 30 million USD for setting up an assembly plant of LED lights in Pakistan.

“The company has been urged by CPEC to convert the assembly plant to production plant”, Khalid Masroor said.

The CPEC chairman said another known Chinese company producing ceramics/tiles have made an investment of 300 million USD in Faisalabad Industrial City. “This company would produce three-meter largest tiles in Pakistan”, he said.

He said in the field of agriculture, another Chinese company has invested 10 million USD and they have been given 11 acres of land.

“The company has employed graduates passed from the Agriculture University of Faisalabad”, Masroor said.

A known Chinese mobile phone company has set up its assembly plant which would produce the best quality mobile phones, Khalid Masroor said.

He said a known Chinese garments company has invested 250 million USD in garments manufacturing plants over an area of 100 acres adding that this company has started its production and hoped company garments exports would touch 450 million USD in the near future.

“Another Chinese company known for producing detergent liquids has invested 35 billion USD over an area of 22 acres of land”, Khalid Masroor said.

Answering various questions, the SAPM on CPEC said the prime minister took strong exception to the complaints of the delegation concerning various departments and told the businessmen that they should report to the PM office directly for swift response and resolution of their problems.

He said the one-window system has been made at CPEC so that Chinese businessmen and companies may not face any hurdle in getting NOCs for their business and factories.

One large industrial zone has already been set up in each province for Chinese companies Rashakai in KP, Faisalabad Industrial City in Punjab, and Dhabaji in Sindh, and one for Balochistan in Gwadar.

Answering another question, he said the projects under CPEC are being reviewed so that such projects could be completed in near future.

He termed the issue of repayment of 3 billion USD of Chinese loans as important and sensitive and said that it matter would be discussed with the Chinese government for rescheduling of these loans.

Replying to another question, he said CPEC projects would continue. He said two special security divisions created by the Pakistan army are providing the best security to Chinese projects across Pakistan.

“The Chinese have demanded something more for better security and their demands have been addressed”, Khalid Masroor said.

He said the meeting of the Pakistan-China high-level strategic forum which was earlier delayed is expected to meet on 23rd or 24th of September 2021 adding that final dates would be announced shortly.

Qamar Khan, a cousin, and friend of PM Imran Khan, who accompanied the SAPM on CPEC and Chinese delegation said at the news conference, said the total value of this latest Chinese investment is one billion USD and hoped in the near future five more major companies would invest more in Pakistan which would create massive job opportunities and economic activity.

“PM Imran Khan was very concerned about the problems being faced by these companies and issued on the spot directives for urgent resolution of their problems and made it clear that problems being faced by them should be immediately addressed”, Qamar Khan said.

CPEC: Rashakai SEZ to get complete gas supply by December

ISLAMABAD, August 31 (Gwadar Pro)- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’s Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will get complete gas connections and supply by December this year, the authorities said.
The SEZ will also get 50-Megawatt (MW) electricity by June 2022, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Omar Ayub Khan said.
Omar Ayub Khan, chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of Tarbela Hydropower Project (T5), Dasu Hydropower Project and Dasu-Mansehra-Islamabad Transmission Line.
Under the 5th extension of Tarbela Hydropower Project, the power generation capacity of Tarbela Dam will be enhanced by 1410 MW.
Chinese company Century Steel is set to make a US $360 million investment in Pakistan, for which the government has allotted 20 acres of land in the Rashakai SEZ.
The government started the sale of plots in Rashakai SEZ in January and has since then, allotted 585 acres of land to 24 zone enterprises with a planned investment of Pakistani Rs 136.7 billion, including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of $5.21 million in Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad.
Official documents suggest that four out of nine CPEC SEZs are at an advanced stage of development. These include the Rashakai SEZ, Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad Bostan SEZ and Dhabeji SEZ.
The government has also approved PC-ls worth over Pakistani Rs 16 billion for gas and electricity providers in the above-mentioned SEZs which are in the advanced stage of development.
The 10 MW electricity was provided to Rashakai SEZ in October 2020 as a short-term arrangement, and 50 MW is to be provided by June 2022, while gasification of the zone is to be completed by December 2021.
The government also provided 10 MW of electricity in Allama Iqbal Industrial City in December 2020 whereas the construction of grid stations for the provision of 20 MW of electricity is in progress with work expected to be completed by December.

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