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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal told China that progress in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been expedited since the new government came into power and regular meetings are being held for the implementation of the development projects.

The minister expressed these views in a meeting with Chinese Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan, Pang Chunxue on Tuesday.

“My top priority is to expedite the CPEC projects to restore the confidence of the Chinese investors,” the minister said.

Pang Chunxue appreciated the steps taken by the minister since he took charge of the ministry.

The minister stressed that the incumbent government will maintain lasting working relationship with China in the same spirit as it was in 2013.

He said it is unfortunate that during the last four years there was no Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which lead to downturn in investment from Chinese investors. During the meeting, the minister also said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had already requested China to add Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project in CPEC.

Projects related to CPEC: Ahsan expresses his concern over ‘sluggish’ progress

He also urged the Chinese official to resolve the issues of Pakistani students studying in China. In this connection, 200 students are being issued visas, so that they complete their studies in China, he said.

Similarly, the minister also suggested that Pakistan and China should start working on Space Technology and said that Pakistani astronauts should be given the opportunity to go to space with the Chinese.

This act will further take the relationship between the two countries to new heights higher than the skies, he added. The minister also pointed to the shortage of water in Karachi and asked the Chinese official to collaborate in establishing of desalination plants in the city to overcome paucity of clean drinking water. Pang Chunxue assured to extend full support of China to uplift the water-related projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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