BEIJING: Pakistan and China signed various agreements and memorandum of understandings on making Gwadar a world class modern port city and on leveraging special economic zones to capture the window of opportunity for structural transformation in Pakistan.
The signing ceremony was held in Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China and was witnessed by the Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Professor Ahsan Iqbal and Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zahri.
Both the side signed contract and implementation minutes of Gwadar Master City Plan. The parties also signed implementation minutes of Gwadar Eastbay Expressway.
Professor Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking on the occasion, said that Gwadar, a jewel of Pakistan, is being built at par with port cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. As the gateway to CPEC, it has already started attracting the interest of investors, however, Gwadar would become an international smart port city soon, he added.
Minister further said that the Gwadar Eastbay Expressway project has been initiated to construct 18.981 km 4-lane divided expressway with embankment for 6-lanes structures. “It would integrate Gwadar Port with the Makran Coastal Highway as well as with the free zone and future container terminals” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and China signed MoU on Leveraging Special Economic Zones to capture the Window of Opportunity for Structural Transformation in Pakistan.
The MoU was signed by Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud Butt and Professor Justin Yifi Lin, the Director Center for New Structural Economics (CNSE), Peking University.
Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on the occasion that both the nations agreed to ensure cooperation for enabling joint research on the policy formulation for Special Economic Zones (SEZs). “We agreed to work together to form synergy on policy formulation on SEZs, enhance coordination and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in order to promote CPEC in a steady manner, realizing peaceful development and common prosperity of the two countries” Minister added.
He said, through this engagement, experiences and lessons from the economic and social development activities would be availed to ensure long term and sustainable development of the two countries.
Meanwhile, Professor Ahsan Iqbal visited to Gezhouba Group of Company to inspect super critical technology based coal fired power plant. The Chinese officials briefed him about the technology which ensures minimum carbon emissions.
Minister on the occasion said Chinese companies should ensure knowledge transformation in the coal energy generation sector by linking with Pakistani engineering institutes. “Pakistan’s Engineering Councils could play a vital role by connecting with Chinese Companies for creation of knowledge resource in this sector”