China Daily (Hong Kong)

New IT working group to bolster CPEC

- By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyangshij­ia@chinadaily.com.cn

China and Pakistan on Thursday announced the establishm­ent of a joint working group on informatio­n technology under the Joint Cooperatio­n Committee for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, marking the latest move to forge closer economic ties between the two nations.

Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Developmen­t and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic regulator, said the two sides will make a big push to boost the high-quality developmen­t of the CPEC.

Ning told the 10th Joint Cooperatio­n Committee Meeting for the CPEC on Thursday in Beijing that the corridor is considered a flagship and pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and considerab­le progress has been made during the past eight years.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has brought in direct investment of $25.4 billion to Pakistan and created thousands of jobs for local people,” Ning said. “We will continue to take the CPEC as the core while prioritizi­ng Gwadar Port, energy, infrastruc­ture and industrial cooperatio­n.”

According to Ning, more efforts will also be made to enhance bilateral cooperatio­n in fields such as industry, science and technology.

Asad Umar, Pakistan’s minister for planning, developmen­t and special initiative­s, said the CPEC has entered the second stage of highqualit­y developmen­t, and he is looking forward to closer economic ties between the two nations.

According to him, the newly establishe­d joint working group on informatio­n technology will be key to strengthen­ing bilateral cooperatio­n in science and technology, which will help Pakistan embrace the new era of economic developmen­t driven by high-tech.

Looking ahead, Umar said Pakistan expects to forge closer cooperatio­n in a wider range of fields, in terms of science and technology, and the country will ramp up efforts to optimize the business environmen­t for Chinese investors.

The one-day meeting, held via video link, was held by the NDRC and the Ministry of Planning, Developmen­t and Special Initiative­s of Pakistan. Around 200 representa­tives of both government­s, financial institutio­ns, enterprise­s and public sectors participat­ed in the meeting.

During the meeting, China and Pakistan also signed five documents for cooperatio­n on different projects under the CPEC to enhance bilateral engagement. The two sides announced the signing of three cooperatio­n agreements between enterprise­s.

This year marks the 70th anniversar­y of the establishm­ent of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan.

 ?? LIU TIAN / XINHUA ?? A rail transit system, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, undertakes trials in Pakistan.
LIU TIAN / XINHUA A rail transit system, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, undertakes trials in Pakistan.

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