China and Pakistan are expected to sign a framework agreement for Industrial Cooperation (IC) during the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), scheduled to be held via video-link this month.
Both the countries have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on industrial cooperation and now in the upcoming meeting of the JCC, it is likely to be taken to the next level, the China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Monday.
The JCC is the highest decision-making body of CPEC, which is co-chaired by Pakistan’s minister for planning and China’s National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) chairman. To implement CPEC, China and Pakistan have set up a ministerial-level JCC on CPEC Long Term Planning.
Initially, there were 7 joint working groups (JWGs) under the JCC for planning, energy, transportation infrastructure, Gwadar Port, industrial cooperation, social-economic development and international cooperation. Later two more JWGs on agriculture and science and technology were made.
The JCC is responsible for overall planning and coordination under CPEC, while the JWGs are responsible for the detailed planning and implementation of the projects.
The JCC secretariats are established in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms of Pakistan respectively.
The two secretariats are responsible for communicating and coordinating with the line ministries, related to the projects of CPEC. Until now, the JCC has convened nine meetings and since 2015 it is held on an annual basis.
In connection with the 10th JCC meeting, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has proposed mega-projects in energy and power, tourism, agriculture, road, industry and social sectors to be presented to the 10th JCC meeting for consideration.
These include Peshawar- DI Khan Motorway, Chashma Right Bank Canal, Swat Expressway Phase 2, Dir Expressway, Chakdara to Chitral Expressway, Chitral to Shandur Road, Kumrat Cable Car, Peshawar Circular Rail, Daraban Economic Zone, Mori Kari Hydel Power Project, 500 KV transmission line from Chital to Chakdara etc.
All the necessary arrangements have been completed for the groundbreaking of Rashakai Economic Zone and so far 700 applications have been received for setting up industries in the economic zone.
Mainline-I (ML-I) project –one of the major projects under CPEC – is also likely to see the light of the day in the 10th JCC meeting. As many as 18 projects worth around Rs83 billion have been identified in the agriculture sector under CPEC to exploit its potential and modernize it for sustainable economic growth. These projects are likely to be tabled in the 10th JCC meeting.
About twelve short, medium and long-term projects identified by the China-Pakistan JWG are related to the livestock wing of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) and Livestock and Dairy Development Department.
Six projects are related to research and development to be executed by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council while one project has been identified for the establishment of Aquaculture Park in coastal areas of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong called on the Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Monday to discuss matters relating to the upcoming 10th JCC meetings and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The secretary planning and the CPEC Authority chairman also participated in the meeting.
The minister expressed satisfaction over the work done by the JWG and said the pace of implementation of CPEC projects would be further accelerated in the weeks and months to come.
“The establishment and operationalization of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is currently among the top priorities. The SEZs would enable setting up joint ventures in manufacturing that would integrate the enterprises from both sides,” he said.
The ambassador said the JCC would provide an opportunity to give further boost to bilateral cooperation under the CPEC umbrella. He said the upcoming meeting would also open many new avenues of cooperation