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ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Jiang Zaidong and Minister for Planning Muhammad Sami Saeed discussed the key Main Line-1 (ML-1) Railroad and Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong called on Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Muhammad Sami Saeed on Tuesday at P-Block Secretariat.

During the meeting, the minister highlighted the significance of the Main Line-1 (ML-1) Railroad project and the KCR project which are considered to be strategic interventions.

The planning minister facilitated Chinese leadership for the successful holding of 3rd Belt and Road (BRI) Forum 2023 that was held last month in China and appreciated the vision of President Xi who identified eight areas of cooperation. Now it is challenging for us how to operationalise and take forward the vision of President Xi Jinping. He said that Pakistan needs to identify new projects and areas of cooperation in these 8 areas.

During the meeting, attended by the secretary Ministry of Planning and project director CPEC, both sides have discussed progress on ongoing CPEC projects and future outlook. Both sides reiterated their resolve to further strengthen relations between the two countries.

The planning minister said that this vision will have a strong impact in the implementation of phase–II of the CPEC and reiterated Pakistan's commitment to accelerate the implementation of the projects.

It is noted that the second Phase of CPEC has already started as both countries have been celebrating the decade of CPEC. Highlighting the ongoing development projects under CPEC, particularly after the successful BRI forum, the planning minister informed the envoy that the Planning Ministry frequently reviews the progress in order to ensure their timely completion.

The minister also emphasized the importance of new areas like science and technology, agriculture and mining. These areas will have a great economic impact, said the minister.

While highlighting the significance of Gwadar, both sides highlighted key interventions to transform socio-economy of the city through high-quality vocational training institution, desalination plant and state-of-the-art hospital. The planning minister said that all the ongoing projects are progressing well as he reviewed progress in detail after BRI.

Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidong appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to implement the CPEC as CPEC has achieved fruitful outcomes covering major areas such as infrastructure, energy, and others.

The ambassador while appreciating the efforts of the Planning Ministry which not only played a vital role in the implementation of the CPEC but also made significant contributions to promoting Pakistan’s economic and social development, upgrading Pakistan’s infrastructure, improving Pakistani people’s well-being, enhancing people to people contact and deepening regional connectivity. Both sides agreed to follow up progress on CPEC and mutually identify new areas of cooperation in the light of President Xi's vision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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