Islamabad: China expressed serious concerns over security matters in the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while both sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishment of a new Joint Working Group (JWG) on information technology industry.
Addressing a news conference after the JCC meeting held on Thursday through a video conference, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said, while replying to a question from journalists that China expressed concern over the security arrangements for Chinese working on the CPEC projects.
Khalid Mansoor, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs, was also present at the press conference.
The minister said that China emphasised boosting security arrangements with the enhancement in the scope of CPEC in the second phase.
He said that as the CPEC is expanding, and investments are expanding beyond industrial estates, simultaneously raising the need for security.
"This is especially important keeping in mind the recent Dasu incident", he said.
The minister said that a specific cell has been made in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the protection of foreigners working in the country, and a very thorough framework has been created to ensure the security of foreigners in Pakistan.
“Our neighboring country is not only attacking us physically but it is also attacking us through use of social media. But leadership of both China and Pakistan and the people will fight against it,” he said.
The minister said that the MOU for establishment of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Information Technology Industry was signed by both sides.
Umar reminded that Pakistan’s IT exports grew 47.4pc year-on-year, crossing $2 billion, thus, it is another booming industry in Pakistan.
He said that it is worth mentioning that the IT exports reached $2.12bn in 2020-21 as against $1.44bn in the preceding year, according to the data released by Commerce Ministry in July 2021.
The second MoU was between China’s Ningbo Port and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port for the CPEC, the minister said.
Another MoU has been signed for Karachi Coastal Development Plan under the Maritime Ministry along with a Chinese company named, CRPC for the development of the Karachi Port facility, he said.
The minister said that eight different agreements were signed for the agriculture sector.
Umar added that the CPEC holds high importance in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision, thus, today both sides, China, and Pakistan have reiterated their commitment to the corridor.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021