Minister for Planning, Development, and Reform, Khusro Bakhtyar has said that China has decided to invest $10 billion in oil and gas, $4 billion in local manufacturing and steel sector and $9 billion have been approved for ML-I railway project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He announced this while addressing the 3rd annual two-day conference on CPEC Consortium of Universities.
The government has taken several important decisions that paved the way for the finalization of the Gwadar master plan and preliminary design of the ML-1 project, operationalization of Gwadar Port and free zone, said the minister. He added that the industrial base of the country will be expanded under the next phase of CPEC to help increase national exports.
Khusro maintained that the government has established a CPEC Authority which will provide one-window access to all the CPEC related issues so that “we can increase the pace of projects and remove all the bottlenecks for efficient implementation of the projects.”
About CPEC, he said that it will be a gateway for progress and prosperity. China has a total trade volume of $4,000 billion, however, Pakistan only has a small $80 billion trade volume in the global market.
He said that the Chinese government is investing $1 billion in the socio-economic sector in two years including cooperation in higher education. The Chinese government has also offered 20,000 scholarships for Pakistani students besides financing to build one thousand small schools in different areas of the country.
Khusro said that in the 9th JCC, China and Pakistan had decided to extend industrial, agriculture and infrastructural cooperation to initiate different projects in those areas.
We have broadened the cooperation through the CPEC in the areas of socio-economic development, agriculture, industries, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people contacts through universities for enhancing multilateral relations between the two countries.
The minister said that a diagnostic study through research is required for evaluating different potential sectors to harmonize the socio-economic development of both sides.
He said that the government wants to add new sectors including iron, mines and minerals, oil and gas, copper, pipeline, textiles, and automobile to exploit the potential of trade through the CPEC.
While addressing the conference, Ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing said that Universities Consortium on CPEC will play a vital role in the completion of this mega project.
He said that CPEC provides a platform for cooperation to connect the societies, institutions, and people of both sides.