ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China have agreed to fast track the industrial cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to accrue maximum benefits of this important phase and ensure win-win situation for both countries.
This was decided in the first meeting of Joint Expert Working Group (JEWG) on industrial cooperation, held on Tuesday in Islamabad. The Pakistan side was led by Board of Investment (BoI) Secretary Azher Ali Chaudhry and the Chinese delegation was led by China International Engineering Consulting Corporation Director Du Zhenli.
On the occasion, the BoI secretary said that the main gain from the CPEC is the industrial cooperation which will not only provide a win-win situation for both countries but will ensure sustainability of this multi-billion dollar project. He said that the Chinese experience regarding establishment of industrial parks will be instrumental for Pakistan by using it as a tool for economic and social development of the country.
Zhenli, head of the Chinese delegation, mentioned that the entire visit remained highly productive and would go a long way to frame the future plans of industrial development in Pakistan. Both sides had a detailed discussion on relocation of industry from China, incentive package for relocation of industry, opportunities available under export promotion zones, identification of industry to be parked in special economic zones (SEZs), terms of engagements (ToE) for establishment of SEZs and upgradation of human resource development through promotion of technical education.
Both sides agreed to ensure finalisation of feasibilities and other codal formalities of prioritised SEZs before 7th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting, expected to be held by the end of this year. The Chinese side expressed their satisfaction over the incentive package announced by Pakistani side and informed that a number of Chinese developers and enterprises are willing to invest in these SEZs.
Both sides agreed that SEZs under CPEC are open for all foreign and local Pakistani investors. Chinese developers and enterprises could enter into joint ventures with local developers and investors to ensure successful cooperation in this important sector of CPEC. Pakistani side shared a proposal to upgrade skill development in Pakistan in line with needs of CPEC which includes transformation of National Training Bureau (NTB) into state-of-the-art institute of technical and vocational training centre in federal capital for producing skilled workforce for CPEC projects, establishment of joint China Pak Training Institutes in the main cities falling under CPEC routes such as Gilgit, Abbottabad, Islamabad, DI Khan and Quetta as well as establishment of Public centres for a vocational training at Islamabad for imparting training to the youth and instructors on the “model of public centre” for vocational training, Tianjin. It was decided that the proposal would be further discussed in detail on the forum of JWG on industry cooperation likely to be held next month.
The Chinese Expert Group is on its eight-day visit to Pakistan to ensure transfer of knowledge and share Chinese experience in development of industrial sector with Pakistani officials, members of academia and business community. Besides conducting three training workshops in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the group visited SEZs sites in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa