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Pakistan PM Imran Khan expected to visit China next month to fast track CPEC progress

This will be premier’s fourth visit to China since 2018

This April 2019 picture shows Pakistani PM Imran Khan and China’s Premier Li Keqiang at a ceremony in Beijing.
Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Beijing in early February. The visit is aimed at fast-tracking progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and further strengthening ties between the two strategic partners.

This will be the Pakistan premier’s fourth visit to China after his last visit in October 2019. Chinese President Xi Jinping cancelled all his official visits since the beginning of the pandemic.

Khalid Mansoor, special assistant to the prime minister on CPEC, hoped the upcoming visit would help remove barriers to trade and boost investments in Pakistan especially in the newly-developed special economic zones.

The prime minister has ordered the removal of 37 regulations to ensure one-window operation for foreign investors and slash the bureaucratic red-tape and has also directed officials to personally brief him on progress on CPEC projects every 15 days. Mansoor shared this at the 2021 report launch by the Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) and the All-Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association (APCEA). The APCEA represents 200 Chinese companies working in Pakistan.

The participants at the ceremony held at the Chinese Embassy welcomed the upcoming visit of the prime minister to China which would bolster the bilateral bond as the high-level meetings remained interrupted in the last two years due to the pandemic.

In the last years, China had invested over $25 billion in Pakistan on CPEC projects, creating 75,000 jobs, producing 5500kw of electricity and building over 500 kilometres of roads, said Ambassador of China to Pakistan Nong Rong.

In 2021, Pakistan and China held several virtual and physical celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

This week, PM Imran Khan attended the launch ceremony of the Pakistan-China business and investment forum in Islamabad. He said the joint ventures and collaboration will enhance the country’s exports through the industrialization process as the second phase of the CPEC focuses on industrialization and the agricultural sector of Pakistan


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