September 26, 2020

On the completion of the Ninth Joint Corporation Committee (JCC) meeting of CPEC, the two sides agreed on several projects including Gwadar Smart City Master plan, signing of MOU’s on health and trade and Pakistan also proposed China to finance it’s $9 billion Main Railway Line (ML-1). The JCC was co-chaired by Planning Minister Mr.Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar and China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Mr.Ning Jizhe.

Talking to the press after the conference, Bakhtyar said that they were in discussions with China on financing their projects in Pakistan in Renminbi, which was one of six major currencies in the IMF’s basket. He added that talks were being held regarding this step on the central bank level.

He added that the Zhob-Di Khan Motorway project worth Rs70 billion would also be financed by China. The project would connect Islamabad and Quetta through Motorway.

The JCC reviewed $12 billion worth of projects, of which projects worth $4.3 billion would be completed by 2020 or 2021.

Bakhtyar added that the country was also looking for $8-$10 billion investment in refineries, petrochemicals and oil and gas sector.

The minister added that the Chinese might enter the steel production sector in Pakistan, which would reduce Pakistan’s steel imports, which currently stand at $4 billion/year.

The two sides also agreed on starting joint mines and minerals excavation projects. While gold and silver excavation projects would be the priority in such projects.

Vice-Chairman Ning Jinzhe said that, “We made steady progress in resolution of matters regarding finalization of tariffs for the completed energy projects, Gwadar Port Concession Agreement and Kohala Hydro Power Project.” He further added that this year’s JCC delegation was the biggest so far, and this would take Pakistan-China corporation to a new level.

Muhammad Asad

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