Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile Industry, Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said that under CPEC, the country would now prefer to enter into joint ventures with Chinese companies to increase industrial base. In order to improve Pakistan-China cross border connectivity, SCO has embarked another milestone by launching the Pakistan-China OFC link, which will enable China’s connectivity to international destinations. The Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing appreciated the new visa policy implemented by the government, indicating that this shows that Pakistan has become a secure country. As part of the expansion of the scope of CPEC, both China and Pakistan are expected to sign various agreements that will focus on socioeconomic development in April. Four major skilled training centers will be established under CPEC in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Please read below for additional details in this edition of China Watch [January 28 – February 03] by CRSS.
Joint ventures under CPEC needed to increase industrial base: Dawood:
The Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment, Abdul Razzak Dawood has said that the government is now focusing on Joint-Ventures (JVs) with Chinese companies in order to expand industrialization under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), citing a shift from the traditional infrastructure and energy cooperation. He said that such JVs will help Pakistan absorb Chinese technology, which will improve industrial and agricultural processes. He also said that rice would be included as one of the major export oriented sectors.[i]
Pak-China fibre optic link activated for commercial use:
In order to improve Pakistan-China cross border connectivity, a public sector organization in Pakistan by the name of Special Communications Organisations (SCO) has embarked another milestone by launching the Pakistan-China OFC link, which will enable China’s connectivity to international destinations. The Pak-China fibre optic, a 820-kilometer long fibre optic cable project from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab, has been made active for commercial use. The project is a major part of CPEC, and will first focus on Urumqi’s (China) connectivity with Frankfurt (Germany). The communication contact will prove to be positive for internet traffic from China to Middle East, Africa and Europe.[ii]
New Pakistani visa regime indicative of an open, confident, and secure Pakistan: Chinese Ambassador:
The Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Yao Jing appreciated the new visa policy implemented by the government, indicating that this shows that Pakistan has become a secure country. While talking to the Minister for Information, Fawad Chaudhary, he said that under the cultural cooperation initiative under CPEC, China will now screen Pakistani films in China to promote people-to-people connectivity. The Minister said that Pakistan will participate in the 9th International Beijing Film Festival. The Ambassador informed the Minister that under the next phase of CPEC, both China and Pakistan would focus on joint ventures in special economic zones and social sector projects, including health, education, water resources and poverty alleviation.[iii]
Agriculture sector, socio-economic development: several CPEC projects to be discussed with Chinese experts in February:
As part of the expansion of the scope of CPEC, both China and Pakistan are expected to sign various agreements that will focus on socioeconomic development in April. Sources said that financial matters with Axiom Bank were also being discussed to accelerate the flow of the Special Economic Zones under CPEC. A Chinese team is set to visit Pakistan to finalize terms of the agreements, which would be then sent to the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC).[iv]
Four skilled training centers to be set up under CPEC in KP:
CPEC is generating various economic opportunities, for which various skills are required. In light of the demand of these skills, four CPEC specific skill trained centers are set to be established in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Speaking to the media, Managing Director of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Technical Training and Vocational Authority, Sajjad Ali Shah said that a training machinery institute is also set to be set up at a cost of PKR 200 million. The official said Chinese authorities have agreed to give training to more than one lakh people belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in various trades under an internship programme as per agreement.[v]
This report is compiled and written by Syeda Uruba Nisar, Social Media Associate at the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad.
[ii] Nasim, H. (2019, February 2). Pak-China fibre optic link activated for commercial use. The Express Tribune. Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://tribune.com.pk/story/1901975/8-pak-china-fibre-optic-link-activated-commercial-use/
[iii] New Pakistani visa regime indicative of an open, confident, and secure Pakistan: Chinese ambassador. (2019, January 31). China Daily. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201901/31/WS5c52c32ca3106c65c34e79b1.html
[iv] Butt, N. (2019, January 30). Agriculture sector, socio-economic development: Several CPEC projects to be discussed with Chinese experts in February. Business Recorder. Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/01/20190130443354/