Govt Hope PM Imran Khan Trip To China Reinvigorate CPEC

The government is hoping that the four-day trip of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, which started on Thursday, will reinvigorate the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

On Wednesday Information Minister Fawad Choudhry after attending a series of conferences chaired by the premier at the Prime Minister House informed Dawn that twenty-one different sectors were identified for discussion with the Chinese leadership.

The sectors chosen for the discussion during the Premier visit to China are associated with the Special Economic Zones created under agriculture, trade, information technology, CPEC, and relocation of mega Chinese industries to Pakistan.

The Foreign Office said in a statement that Prime Minister Khan would have bilateral meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.

Officials say government aims to open up 21 new sectors under the project, which includes agriculture, trade, and IT. Also said in the statement that the leaders will review the complete range of bilateral relations, with a specific focus on stronger economic cooperation and trade which includes CPEC.

The Foreign Office also stated that the premier was visiting China at the invitation of Chinese leadership.

It has been a general impression that CPEC had slowed down after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came into power 3 years ago. Although, the government hopes that the Prime Minister's visit would help improve the projects that are either being executed or have yet to begin under the gamut of CPEC.

PM Khan has many times stated that his government had changed the CPEC focus from only road infrastructure to energy, agriculture, and industrialization.

Khalid Mansoor PM’s Special Assistant on CPEC informed Dawn that this time they were well prepared and comparative analysis of the opportunities had been done that Pakistan could offer to Chinese investors. 

The Special Assistant on CPEC stated that there have been 10 different sectors that were discussed by both countries bilaterally in joint working group seminars. He further stated that the meetings had been arranged with influential Chinese industrials to meet the PM during his visit.

The premier during his stay in Beijing will be meeting with the leading Chinese think-tanks representatives, prominent business leaders, academia, and the media, according to the Foreign Office.

Meantime, on Wednesday presiding a high-level meeting before his upcoming trip to China, the premier expressed confidence that his visit would take the close bilateral ties that already existed among the two nations, to new heights.

The federal ministers attended the meeting including Asad Umer, Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, and Shaukat Tareen as well as State Minister Farrukh Habib, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant Shahbaz Gill, National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yousuf along Khalid Mansoor.

Prime Minister Khan will also attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, in addition to meetings on CPEC during his visit to China.

The Foreign Office stated that it is highly commendable that the Chinese government has made careful preparations for holding the Winter Olympic Games despite the COVID-19 pandemic.