The 5th meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation (IC) under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held via video conference regarding the Framework Agreement on CPEC Industrial Cooperation (IC).
It was co-chaired by Additional Secretary and Executive Director General of Board of Investment (BOI), Khashih-ur-Rehman, and Director General of National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), People’s Republic of China, Ying Xiong.
Officials from line ministries, provincial governments, and embassies also attended the meeting.
Khashih-ur-Rehman expressed that elevation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on Industrial Cooperation (IC) between Pakistan and China, into a comprehensive framework would create new avenues for strengthening industrial cooperation under CPEC.
He said that this framework was also open to third party participation.
The Project Director of Project Management Unit (PMU) on Industrial Cooperation of BOI, Asim Ayub, appreciated the Chinese delegation for accepting the Draft Framework Agreement shared by the Pakistani officials in early November 2020.
He said that the early signing of the Framework Agreement on IC would help to achieve the maximum objectives of CPEC in line with its Long-Term Plan.
Immense efforts have been made by the Pakistani authorities to devise the Draft Framework, taking all the provinces and other stakeholders on board. The final approval of the Honorable Prime Minister was also obtained accordingly.
He stressed that a Framework Agreement is the need of the hour for a measurable impact with regards to Industrial Cooperation, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Business to Business (B2B), and People to People (P2P) collaboration.
Asim Ayub also said that Pakistan highly regards the idea of Industrial Diagnosis by the Chinese experts and extended its highest support to the group of experts for the Textile Industrial Diagnosis last year.
However, he was of the view that the Industrial Diagnosis needs to be carried out in a joint manner involving experts from both Pakistan and China. The experts may submit the Diagnosis Report to the JWG along with an action plan that would be imperative for the respective industrial sector.
The Chinese delegation appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Pakistani authorities to elevate the MoU on industrial cooperation into a framework for increased cooperation under CPEC.
They agreed to continue consultation for its signing at the earliest, and also appreciated the idea of joint industrial diagnostic studies followed by an action plan.
Concluding the meeting, Additional Secretary BOI stated that it is the right time to resume the activities with mutual consensus in due course, for which the Pakistani authorities will ensure all-out support.
He also requested the Chinese delegation to arrange industrial visits of Pakistani delegations to provide them with firsthand experience of successful industrial models in China.
The meeting also discussed progress made on Rashakai, Dhabeji, Alama Iqbal Industrial City, and Bostan SEZs under CPEC, the revival project of Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM), China Pakistan Young Workers Exchange and Cooperation, and Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone.