Beijing, 4 February 2022 (TDI): The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan held a virtual meeting with the Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, He Lifeng, in Beijing.

Imran Khan is visiting China for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Both sides deliberated upon the progress of ongoing CPEC projects during the meeting. They also discussed the preparations for future ventures. Imran Khan stated that the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between China and Pakistan was enduring and time-tested.

He enunciated that work on all CPEC projects advanced steadily in spite of Covid-19, due to the joint cooperation of both sides. In addition, Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded the NDRC as well as the relevant authorities from both countries.

He underscored that CPEC, as the flagship project of BRI, had strategic importance for China and Pakistan. Besides, it is proving to be advantageous for both peoples. CPEC’s early-harvest ventures have changed the economic landscape of Pakistan by creating a tangible foundation for sustainable economic development.

During the meeting, Imran Khan also reaffirmed the commitment for the timely realization of CPEC along with its high-quality development. Moreover, China and Pakistan will persist to expedite steps for achieving Gwadar’s potential as an epicenter of regional industry and commerce.

Whilst Chairman NDRC on his part said that China affixed tremendous importance to CPEC and is firmly dedicated to its continuous advancement and development. He remarked that China has become Pakistan’s biggest trade and investment partner in the last seven years.

Likewise, both partners were inclined to uphold the momentum of comprehensive economic and trade relations in the future as well. The Chairman further added that NDRC as well as all relevant Chinese organizations will persist in their endeavors to encourage Chinese private and state-owned enterprises to invest in CPEC projects.

Both sides decided to launch new green, health, digital, trade, and industry corridors in this regard. These would improve sector-wise collaboration in the above-mentioned domains.

In addition, He Lifeng expressed gratitude for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s support and stated China’s readiness to help Pakistan in the sectors of agricultural modernization, industrialization, science, and technology along with socio-economic development.

Both sides welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation between the Board of Investment (BOI) and the NDRC, During the meeting. These would help in facilitating the relocation of Chinese industrial units to CPEC SEZs. What’s more, they will rev up investment from China and elsewhere.

Aside from that, both sides also signed the Minutes of the 6th JWG meeting on Gwadar. The said meeting was held on 30 December last year. These Minutes were signed by the Pakistani Federal Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar,  and the Vice-Chairman of NDRC, Ning Jizhe.

The meeting was attended by Pakistani cabinet ministers and senior officials who were accompanying the Pakistani Prime Minister. Whilst, the Vice Chairmen, Ning Jizhe and Tang Dengjie as well as other senior officials of the NDRC represented the Chinese side.