China satisfied with CPEC’s progress
China has expressed satisfaction over the progress of the projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“CPEC’s progression is faster than any of the other corridors,” said Zhang Xiaoqiang, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) during a meeting with Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal in Beijing. “CPEC aims at peaceful development and provision of benefits to all the people and connected developing and developed countries to jointly revive economy as well as enhance cooperation in research and policy,” a statement quoted Xiaoqiang as saying.
He added that CPEC is a project of friendship, openness and inclusiveness, “and is not targeted against any country.”
Minister Iqbal discussed opportunities of cooperation with CCIEE and explored the ways and means to further extend the magnitude and scope of the CPEC. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress on CPEC and hoped to create new platforms for diversifying cooperation in areas of knowledge sharing and governance issues of public policy.
Minister said under CPEC Pakistan is doing many projects with China in its hardware component, comprising energy and infrastructure. “However, there is a need to create platforms for the software component such as knowledge sharing,” he said. “Pakistan is a fast urbanising country, which could learn from Chinese experience and practices in managing urbanisation and concomitant challenges.” Iqbal emphasised the need to create joint platforms and workshops for urban planning, housing, rural development to address the challenges posed to the country’s large rural economy.
He also sought Chinese expertise and assistance in the areas of water resources management, improvement of small and medium enterprises sector. He hoped to organise a joint mechanism whereby experts from China could share their experiences with the Pakistani side. Xiaoqiang said apart from hardware cooperation in energy and infrastructure, software cooperation is also very important.
“China has experienced many cooperative initiatives with other countries in city planning and establishment of industrial parks,” he added. “On the lines of other joint working groups, establishment of contact groups of local government, think tanks and universities to interact on urban planning solutions and share ideas on other software side of CPEC in consultation with National Development and Reform Commission of China could be explored.”
CCIEE chief said China’s success in development was made possible due to a healthy combination of stability, development and reform. The minister planning said the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and CCIEE could develop strong linkages. PIDE has set up a centre of excellence on CPEC. The theme of the PIDE annual conference to be held in December is the CPEC.