ISLAMABAD: The second meeting of Joint Working Group on socio-economic development under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework on Wednesday decided to prepare projects for the third phase, and the Chinese government was asked to send experts for the implementation of priority projects.
The meeting via video link discussed and reviewed the projects under $1 billion Chinese grant, and expressed satisfaction over the pace of progress of projects under the joint working group in key areas of agriculture, education, health, poverty and vocational training.
The joint working group decided to prepare documents for signing as deliverables of the forthcoming 10th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting which will discuss implementation of the second phase of CPEC. The pandemic situation had delayed the holding of JCC meeting.
The fast-track and priority projects specifically reviewed by the working group were agriculture technology laboratories, provision of equipment and tools and demonstration stations in the agriculture sector, smart classroom project and overseas student scholarship programme in the education sector, Pakistan Vocational Schools Equipment and solarisation project in Balochistan in addition to drinking water supply project for AJK and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Moreover, Pak-China Friendship Hospital, Vocational Technical School and desalination plant in Gwadar were also discussed, and two sides reiterated to implement these ongoing projects as per the decided timelines.
The meeting was co-chaired by Vice Chairman, China International Development and Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), Boqing, Vice Chairman Secretary Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mathar Niaz Rana.
The Pakistan side appreciated the assistance provided by the Chinese government for socio-economic uplift of the country and also acknowledged the support extended during Covid-19 pandemic; especially the medical equipment and supplies.
The Pakistani delegation emphasised to expedite technical education projects including cooperative project with Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in KP and Punjab Tianjin University of Technology.
It was also suggested to carry out the Burn Centre projects in all provinces and regions on priority.
Furthermore, the Pakistani side also discussed the poverty alleviation research project with Chinese side and desired to learn from Chinese experience in this area.
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2020