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Print Print 2023-07-10

Third-party participation in CPEC: draft modalities finalised

  • Minister for Planning, Ahsan Iqbal directs CPEC Secretariat to get approval before sharing input draft modalities with MoFA
Published July 10, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has finalized draft modalities for third-party participation in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to attract investment from countries or entities other than China, well-informed sources in Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives told Business Recorder.

This was disclosed at a CPEC progress meeting presided over by the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, convened to finalized agenda for 12th Special Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC meeting on July 11, 2023 in Beijing. Iqbal will lead Pakistan’s team. The purpose of this meeting is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of CPEC.

In June 2022, MoFA had imposed a ban on announcements regarding inclusion of third party in CPEC projects on the pretext that both Pakistan and China have already decided to refrain from making public announcements in this regard.

10 years of CPEC: PM Shehbaz says project has transformed country’s economic landscape

However, now the government is finalizing its plan to attract investment from third party or parties to CPEC projects. A couple of days ago Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered India to take advantage of CPEC infrastructure project instead of creating hurdles in its way.

“Ministry of Foreign Affairs apprised that draft modalities for third-party participation in CPEC under Joint Working Group on international cooperation and coordination have been devised and shared with all stakeholders for input,” the sources added.

Minister for Planning, sources said, directed CPEC Secretariat to get approval before sharing input draft modalities with MoFA.

Board of Investment (BoI), sources said, briefed the meeting that about 800 acres of land in Bostan SEZ is encroached upon. It was decided that the Government of Balochistan will take immediate actions to get the land vacated so as to ensure development of Bostan SEZ on envisaged 1000 areas.

Minister for Planning expressed serious reservations on delay in floating of Request for Proposal (RFP) for feasibility study of Islamabad Model Special Economic Zone despite issuance of authorization of the project in early May 2023. He directed BoI to immediately advertise the RFP.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research stated that the feasibility study for the development of an FMD free zone in South Balochistan is currently underway and is expected to be completed within one month.

Government of Punjab has also taken the initiative to develop an FMD free zone in the Cholistan area.

According to sources, Power Division informed that they have approached their Chinese counterpart for meeting of the Joint Energy Working Group (JEWG) but there response is still awaited.

The meeting decided that Pakistani Mission in China will facilitate the holding of JEWG on priority basis.

The issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) of Chinese Personnel for implementation of DTMB-A project also came under discussion at the meeting.

It was informed that the project is being developed by Chinese side on grant-in-aid basis at three different sites of Pakistan including Murree, Cherat and Kala Shah Kaku.

The company applied for NOC for the three selected sites access, which is pending since December 2022. However, due to non availability of NOC the technical teams could not visit the sites to carry out installation, commissioning and integration activities.

The representative of Interior Ministry informed that they have received the security clearance for second and third batch from security agencies on July 4, 2023 and they have already started the process for approval and issuance.

The sources said that Conveners of the respective JWGs will attend the 12th JCC meeting in person particularly the Conveners of the JWGs on Energy, Industrial Cooperation and Transport Infrastructure.

Pakistani Mission in Beijing will coordinate the meetings of the JWGs Conveners from Pakistani side with their respective counterparts on the sidelines of the JCC meeting for resolution of pending issues and way forward.

Pakistani Mission is also coordinating with National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) for participation of ex Co-Chairman of JCC meetings along with former Chinese ambassador to Pakistan in 2013 Sun Weidong in the 12th Special JCC meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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zaya zaya Jul 10, 2023 07:04am
This is all Window dressing for the Election and has no significance for the poor people economic welfare, as these are unfinished proposals and not even drafts. For Shehbaz Sharif to suggest to india that it should participate in CPEC, when they actually oppose it because of GB is a joke, plus india has already got a counter route planned through Iranian Port that they have been assisting to build and railway link to Central Asia.
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Mohammad Anwar Jul 10, 2023 11:17am
Every month k electric is charging FCA, additional surcharge, quarterly adjustment and high sales tax from Karachi ties. K electric inefficiency and incompetency has crushed people of Karachi. Federal government has no interest in misries of people of Karachi.
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Mohammad Anwar Jul 10, 2023 11:31am
Present rulers should invest in cpec projects by bringing their money from abroad.
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Mohammad Anwar Jul 10, 2023 11:33am
Brian less,vision less rulers of Pakistan interested in their own publicity.
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Tulukan Mairandi Jul 10, 2023 01:09pm
Which third party is gonna involve them selves in this epic failure cum debt trap?
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Tariq Qurashi Jul 10, 2023 01:13pm
We need to focus on renewable energy, especially household solar production which can be sold to the grid. We need to develop a comprehensive transition plan over 15 years to steadily move to renewable energy; including implementation milestones that will need to be monitored . In addition we need to privatize electricity bill collection, and address our circular debt head on. Also the sooner we get out of the IPP's expensive energy contracts the better. At the moment we seem to have an Ostrich plan i.e. keep our heads in the sand and hope the problems goes away!
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