Pakistan and China have agreed to complete all the procedural arrangements including commercial contract and financial close of Main Line (ML-1) of Pakistan Railways at the earliest so that work on the project could be started during the current year.
This was decided in the 5th meeting of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Joint Working Group on Transport Infrastructure under the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Pakistan delegation was led by Muhammad Siddique Memon, Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Chinese delegation was headed by H.E. Dai Dongchang, Vice Minister of Ministry of Transport, and People’s Republic of China.
Both sides reviewed the progress of early harvest projects of infrastructure development. They pledged their commitment to achieve the targets set-forth by the leadership of two countries. It was agreed to take concrete measures to accelerate the pace of work with the objective to complete the projects within the given timelines.
Various proposals of transport infrastructure projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were deliberated and a way forward was agreed. It was realized that CPEC projects would foster economic activities and will be instrumental in facilitating transit trade through Gwadar Port.
Both side appreciated the progress made in strategic ML-1 project. It was agreed that all the procedural arrangements including commercial contract and financial close may be completed at the earliest so that work on the project could be started during the current year.
Road projects approved in 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting and New Gwadar International Airport and East Bay Express Bay projects at Gwadar were also discussed and a road map was finalized.
The Chinese side appreciated the work of all the security agencies for their role in ensuring seamless security of Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects. It was agreed to recommend the Karachi Circular Railways project to 7th JCC whereas further work on other Mass Transit Projects was recommended for completion of project documents. In addition three short term infrastructure projects were also recommended to the next JCC meeting.
The Chinese side offered a comprehensive package for training and capacity building through courses and programs for Pakistani officials, engineers and technicians.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by the two sides. They resolved to continue their dialogue in future with the same spirit of understanding and cooperation between the two brotherly neighboring countries.