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Pakistan’s Planning and Railways Ministers Meet Chinese NDRC Vice Chairman

September 27,2016

Pakistan Planning and Railways Ministers meet Chinese NDRC Vice Chairman, meeting decides to hold JCC in November this year. 

The Federal Minister of Planning Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal together with the Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique leading the delegation of Pakistan's Railways Ministry to China, met with the Vice Chairman of Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Mr. Wang Xiaotao today in Beijing.  

During the meeting Wang Xiaotao said that work on CPEC projects had seen positive progress over the past three years. The ML1 railways up-gradation project connecting Peshawar to Karachi formed an important part of CPEC's development and it would benefit people especially along the route and contribute to economic and social development of Pakistan. ML1 is Key priority on the working agenda and NDRC takes a holistic view of the project which is a huge up-gradation project, he added. He said that NDRC would make its due contribution to CPEC's development. 

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC projects in energy and infrastructure sector were making steady progress. He said that owing to commitment and sincerity from both sides, the vision of CPEC was fast translating into reality. Most of the energy projects were in implementation stage and moving fast ahead.
Similarly, in road transport sector the Chinese contractors had been mobilized. He hoped that both sides would work together to further expedite progress on CPEC projects. The Minister proposed to have the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting in the month of November this year to which Chinese side also agreed. 
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal also proposed exchange of knowledge and expertise in several key areas through workshops by Chinese experts and asked NDRC to identify experts to share knowledge and experience. He invited Chinese experts to come to Pakistan for the purpose. He mentioned urban planning and housing, rural development as one of those areas that could benefit and learn from Chinese experience in transformation of rural economy. He said that small and medium enterprises (SME) create job opportunities and form an important area for holding the workshop. He described water management and conservation particularly drip irrigation as one of the five areas where joint workshops could be organized. He also stressed the need for developing understanding of management of industrial parks, and identified it as one of the interesting areas for workshops. He stressed fast implementation of Gawadar CPEC projects. 

Railways Minister Saad Rafique highlighted the significance of ML1 project. He said railways development of China was impressive and progress on various CPEC projects was made possible through continued commitment of NDRC and commended its role in creating an enabling environment. The up-gradation of ML- project would vastly contribute in socio-economic development and provide an opportunity to Chinese companies to bring new technology to Pakistan, he added. He said that Pakistan Railways was performing very well and there had been its massive up-gradation from own resources. 

He assured NDRC that his ministry would make all possible efforts with regard to speeding up of the projects. 
During the meeting, it was decided that the 6th JCC will be held in the last week of November 2016. They also agreed to make appropriate arrangements for holding the experts workshops in the identified areas. 

It was also agreed that Gwadar, transport and industrial cooperation working groups would meet before the next JCC so that their recommendations could be submitted before the JCC meeting. 

Wang Xiaotao while concluding the meeting said that it was very productive and effective. He said that strong efforts would be made from Chinese side to push forward development of CPEC and Gwadar port in particular. 

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