CPEC to approve $27 billion for 22 mega projects

The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and served as vice-president at the World Bank

"CPEC is also helping to promote knowledge based economy in Pakistan, which is the need of new age in the world", the minister said while addressing the 7th meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of CPEC held in Islamabad to review and approve various development projects in the mega development project.

"We have noted the relevant reports", Kang responded, adding that CPEC was a new type of cooperation framework between China and Pakistan for across-the-board cooperation, in particular the long-term development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in a broad sense.

"China wants Pakistan to accept its currency demand and make it part of the final draft of the Long-Term Plan (2014-2030)", said the officials, adding, "Pakistan has conveyed its opposition to the demand a few months ago but the Chinese side pressed it again".

The Dawn reported quoting a senior government official that Pakistan was not ready to allow the Chinese yuan (renminbi) for free use in Gwadar or its treatment on a par with the USA dollar in the country and this was disappointing for the visiting Chinese officials.

Moreover, the private sector was allowed to participate in the meeting for the first time.

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He said soon Pakistan and China would start exchange of delegations of businessmen and traders. Along with infrastructure development and upgradation, education and health sectors would also be targeted for their improvement and upgradation under CPEC.

The agenda of the meeting is to deliberate on various projects being carried out under CPEC. He underlined the need for expansion in the administrative structure and scope of cooperation in CPEC.

Speaking to reporters during a regular press briefing on Monday, he said the multi-billion dollar project was not only of important significance to China-Pakistan common development, but also conducive to regional connectivity and common prosperity. He said that CPEC's energy projects were fast heading towards their completion.

The minister termed the 7th JCC meeting a hallmark of the project and said that special economic zones will be established afterwards.

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