KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Sunday said the projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were progressing with fast pace during the tenure of incumbent government.

The way government handled pandemic situation and made efforts to contain the spread of pandemic Covid-19, it would also continue working day and night for the success of the CPEC, he said while addressing the reception ceremony of first consignment, carrying equipment and machinery for Century Steel at Karachi Port, for setting up of a steel mill in Rashakai Special Economic Zone.

The Minister termed the occasion as another manifestation of exceptional relation between Pakistan and China. Asad Umar said the CPEC was now entering into the most important second phase. The projects were now not limited to infrastructure only.

He informed that CRBC, a Chinese firm had entered into an agreement with Pakistan under CPEC to promote foreign investments for development and marketing in Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ). He said the work for the provision of basic necessities including electricity and others at Rashakai SEZ was underway at fast pace.

He said the Century Steel, a Chinese firm with the investment of US $ 240 million, would set up a steel mill in Rashakai SEZ which would produce about 1.5 million tons of steel. The firm would also employ over 600 Pakistanis during construction phase while in second phase over 1000 people would be provided jobs.

Asad Umar said the bilateral relation of Pakistan and China was not new and whenever Pakistan needed a friend China was there. Chinese Consul General in Karachi Li Bijian speaking on the occasion said due to the concerted efforts of the government of Pakistan, the economy of the country was strengthening and gaining momentum despite the negative effect of global pandemic, especially the construction sector had been witnessing faster growth and the demand for steel had increased. Because of the brilliant efforts from both sides China and Pakistan, the first phase of the CPEC had completed, he said.

Li Bijian said, “We are quite confident to attract more and more investments in Rashakai SEZ”.

The Consul General thanked the federal government particularly CPEC Authority Chairman for his support and efforts. He said it was an honour for him to witness the reception of first consignment carrying equipment and machinery for Century Steel was only a beginning.

On the occasion, Chairman CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa, representatives of Century Steel, officers of KPT and other were present. Meanwhile in his tweet, Asad Umar said the first industrial unit was being set up in the Rashakai SEZ in KP.

“The CPEC is moving practically into the exciting phase of industrial cooperation with foreign investment transferring technology & creating jobs”, he added.


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