Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated the country’s commitment to timely completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, citing the multi-billion dollar project as a transformational project.
The premier stated this during a meeting with new Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong, who called on him on Wednesday. The PM congratulated the envoy on his appointment and extended his best wishes for a fruitful term.
During the meeting, mutual support on issues of core national interest for Pakistan and China was also reaffirmed.
PM affirmed the time-tested Pakistan-China “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” and underlined the importance of special economic zones, relocation of industry, and enhanced productivity in the agriculture sector.
The ambassador thanked the premier for receiving him and assured that China “will fully support speedy completion of CPEC projects as well as industrialisation in Pakistan and will deepen cooperation with the country in the agriculture sector”.
Meanwhile, the new Chinese envoy also called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser at the Parliament House. “Pakistan is proud of its all-weather unique friendship and strategic partnership with China,” Qaiser said, adding that completion of CPEC would help Pakistan to achieve its economic and industrial goals.
He shared his government’s desire to further boost the bilateral ties between the two countries.
“China and Pakistan have cherished vibrant, friendly relations spreading over decades,” the NA speaker said, adding that those ties were based on regional development, mutual trust, trade and economic cooperation. He added that the cooperation between both countries was rapidly expanding. Qaiser shared that Pakistan “confidently counts” on Chinese support at international and regional fora.
He further stressed the need for cementing parliamentary contacts for further strengthening those ties.
The NA speaker asked the envoy to convey his good wishes to the Chinese National People’s Congress chairman and to reiterate the invitation already extended to him to visit Pakistan. He also wished good luck to Nong Rong on his ambassadorial assignment to Pakistan.
Discussing the multi-billion dollar project, Qaiser said: “CPEC is a game changer not only for both the countries but also for the whole region. It will significantly contribute to bringing socio-economic development in Pakistan.” Parliament stands with CPEC, he said, adding that therefore a series of seminars had been arranged to mobilise stakeholders, intelligentsia and other segments of society to increase the effectiveness of the project. He invited the Chinese ambassador to attend a seminar being organised by the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC in Peshawar on Friday.
Referring to the inauguration of the recently completed Rashakai SEZ project, the NA speaker said that it would prove to be a milestone in the industrial development of the country. He informed the envoy that PM Imran would inaugurate the SEZ on November 21.
Ambassador Nong Rong was of the view that relations between the two countries are “exceptional and gaining strength” with the passage of time. “Cooperation between China and Pakistan is a clear depiction of the commitment of the leadership of both the countries towards each other,” he said, adding that completion of the first phase of CPEC would open new avenues of development for the people of the region.
He added that with the start of the second phase of CPEC, socio-economic, industrialisation, agriculture and scientific and technological sectors would be focused. The envoy said the completion of CPEC would change the “destiny of the region and unleash a new era of Pakistan-China relations”.
Later, the Chinese ambassador called on Parliamentary Committee on CPEC Chairman Sher Ali Arbab. Discussion between them mainly focused on the measures to enhance cooperation between the two countries. It was agreed that the suggestions put forth by the Chinese government regarding areas under collaboration would be forwarded to the forums concerned. The ambassador apprised the chairman about the work on prioritised SEZs in Pakistan