ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC Khalid Mansoor said on Monday that Pakistan was committed to taking forward the development under the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by making it a safe and secure corridor to enhance bilateral trade ties.
The special assistant said he was optimistic about the mega project as the Chinese authorities had agreed to hold the 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on 23rd or 24th of the current month
Addressing his maiden press conference here after taking his new charge, the SAPM said security was a big concern for the Chinese and he had briefed them about the overall security situation assuring that additional measures have been taken by the government.
Chief Executives of eight companies established in Faisalabad Industrial Estate and Manufacturing Company (FIEDMC)-the CPEC prioritized Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Punjab- were also present on the occasion.
The 10th annual meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on CPEC was earlier scheduled on July 16, 2021, but was postponed due to certain security issues in the country.
Khalid Mansoor said there were nine Joint Working Groups (JWGs) of the JCC in various sectors including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, science and technology, and various new projects in these sectors would come under consideration in the meeting.
He said the international forces who were against the mega project would fail in their nefarious designs. He said the first phase brought an investment of $25 billion out of which $13 billion worth of projects had been completed while the rest $12 billion projects were in the pipeline and were likely to be completed within a year.
He said the magnitude of the second phase was huge as a variety of sectors were involved which would attract huge foreign investment besides thousands of new jobs for locals.
He said the first SEZ under CPEC-FIEDMC was functional for last three years and during that period, Chinese companies had brought investment of $845 million in total.
He said a Chinese company making prefabricated houses has been set up in the FIEDC with an investment of $20 million and would start making homes in Pakistan very soon. He said another company has established its electric bikes and three-wheelers manufacturing plant, an LED bulb manufacturing plant with an investment of $18 million
Similarly, an international mobile company OPPO had also set up its plant in the SEZ. He said another ceramic tiles manufacturing Chinese company has also set up its plant with $300 million investment.
He said a Chinese company ‘Challenge’ which prepares high-value apparel for world-renowned companies such as Adidas, Rebook and American Eagle had also established its plant which had recorded $150 million exports during the previous year. He said the CPEC Authority would provide one window for the Chinese investors to facilitate them.
To a question, the SAPM said an action plan had been made to resolve the issues in the projects that were facing delays. He said since CPEC was of national importance all political parties had showed full support on this project.
Replying to another question, he said complete transparency was ensured in all the projects under CPEC. “I have been involved in power projects worth of over $5 billion but I never have witnessed any kickbacks in the projects”.
He also dispelled the impression that Chinese companies were importing labour from China, saying that a large number of Pakistanis were recruited in the projects were being given skilled training.