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  KP govt: makes a big deal with China under CPEC
BEIJING, April 18 (INP): The Khayber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government have signed 11 Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the Chinese Companies here for undertaking of various development projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework in the province. Chief Minister, KP, Parvez Khattak, Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Masood Khalid, President China-Pakistan Friendship Association, Sha Zhu Kang, ministers and senior provincial officials witnessed the signing ceremony. The development projects to be completed in different parts of the province included information technology, special economic zones, power plants, oil refinery, infrastructure and e-commerce. Speaking on the occasion, Parvez Khattak invited the Chinese companies and businessmen to take advantage of investment-friendly atmosphere in the province for mutual benefits of the people of two countries. “We have set the stage to begin journey of industrialization in the province and we need support of our ‘Iron brothers’ to put the province on the path of development and economic growth,” he added. Appreciating the One Belt One Road Initiative announced by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, he said, the CPEC is a flagship component of the Initiative and stressed to further enhance business, cultural and social cooperation between Pakistan and China. Terming Peshawar a key city on the Western route of CPEC, he said, it is located at a very strategic location connecting different regions. He said during the last four years, his government has introduced reforms in health, education and infrastructure and created investment-friendly environment in the province. Parvez Khattak said a strong security force comprising 4,500 personnel has been established for protection of foreign workforce including Chinese deployed on various development projects. He informed a number of Chinese companies are working in the province and they are being provided fool proof security. While emphasizing the importance of the CPEC, President, China-Pakistan Friendship Association, Sha Zhu Kang said, the success of One Belt and Road Initiative is linked with the CPEC as it is pilot project of the Initiative. This project will not only benefit both China and Pakistan but it is beneficial for regional and global economic growth and all the countries and economies along the One Belt One Road Initiative will benefit from it, he added. He said the proposed corridor stretching from Kashgar to Gwadar will bring about economic and social progress for not a particular area but the entire Pakistan. Zhu Kang said the Chinese companies are already working in KP and providing job opportunities to a large number of locals. Welcoming the audience, Ambassador Masood Khalid informed that around 86 projects including energy, agriculture and infrastructure would be presented for investment and cooperation. He said the KP chief minister’s visit, second in the last four months, underscores the importance of CPEC and Pak-China relations. The Ambassador said all political parties in Pakistan are on one page as for as China-Pakistan relations are concerned, adding, CPEC, the leading project of One Belt One Road Initiative has developed mutual cooperation. He said the CPEC is showing steady progress and now the Gwadar Port is operational and energy and infrastructure projects are being completed in accordance their timeframe. Sharing with development and economic growth in Pakistan during last few years, he asked the Chinese investors and businessmen to take good advantage of conducive environment and the untapped potential in different sectors. He said the CPEC is long term strategic plan and it is manifestation of leadership of Pakistan and China vision for mutual benefits of the two countries and the region. Special Envoy on CPEC, Zafar Mahmood said the KP province offers best possible opportunities for investment and expressed the confidence that Chinese companies will take lead in tapping this advantage. Later, the officials of KP government presented overview of different projects having abundance potential for the Chinese investment. He sought cooperation in hydel power, oil and gas exploration, development of infrastructure in tourism sector, mines, mineral and precious stones. The official said as many as 17 sites have been selected for setting up on special economic zones in the province, adding, the provincial government will ensure investment hospitality by maintaining peace, ensuring transparency and good governance. Talking about priority areas of collaboration, he said, these are communication, mining, tourism, industrial cooperation, energy, cultural exchange, agriculture, urban development and linkage with academia. Some representatives of Chinese companies already working in KP shared their experience and informed that they have complete protection and viable environment for their business. Meanwhile, Parvez Khattak Monday said he has no reservations on the Western route and the entire country is unanimous to take the country towards progress and development under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. “The entire Pakistan is unanimous on CPEC project and taking the country forward and even we have got an additional route from Gilgit to Chitral which has been approved in 6th JCC meeting held here in December last,” he said while talking to media on the sidelines of the Road Show held here to muster the Chinese investment in the province. He said his first visit to China to attend the JCC meeting held here in December last was very special in which he learned a lot. “When I returned to Pakistan, I made it sure that I will come back with a big bang to muster investment of Chinese companies for which we been working round the clock to set a stage for Chinese investment in the province,” he added. The KP Chief Minister said, “We are fully ready for the Chinese investment in Pakistan and we will provide the best investment and business opportunities to Chinese entrepreneurs in Pakistan.” Parvez Khattak said he has good understanding with the federal government on CPEC, adding, “We have included leader of opposition in the KP Assembly in the delegation to create more consensus.” Terming CPEC very important for both China and Pakistan, he said, “We all have been working very hard for the last three years and we expect a lot of investment and development in Pakistan under this initiative.” “We are hoping that China having a long history of relationship with Pakistan and its people will come in a big way to support us,” he added. “We have offered Chinese businessmen to invest in mine, mineral, tourism and information technology sectors,” he added. He expressed the confidence that Peshawar will soon become center of CPEC as this city is connect with Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia, Iran and added it will become industrial hub providing shortest route to Gwadar Port. Responding to a question about security arrangements for the foreign investors, he gave guarantee for the security and informed that a special force has been set up by the provincial government in this regard. To facilitate the Chinese investors, he said, the government has formulated new reforms and laws and there will be one widow operation and all facilities under one roof. INP/J/AH
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