Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday underlined the government’s commitment to unlocking the full economic and connectivity potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through expedited and high-quality development of CPEC projects.
He emphasised the importance of key projects like Main Line One (ML-1) and Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) in Pakistan’s development plans and expressed a desire to move towards the finalisation of these projects in the upcoming 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee.
The prime minister expressed these views as he received Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong at the PM House in Islamabad, a statement issued by the PM Media Office said.
Expressing satisfaction on the upward trajectory of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China, the premier recalled his comprehensive and wide-ranging discussions with Premier Li Keqiang in a telephone call on May 16, 2022, and their consensus to further deepen and strengthen Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
He underscored that Pakistan and China were best friends, staunchest partners and iron brothers, adding that the two nations had always stood by each other through fair weather and times of challenges, and extended support on key issues of core interest.
PM Shehbaz appreciated China’s support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and development, including in dealing with the emerging economic challenges and volatility in global supply chains and commodities.
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Sharing Pakistan’s focus on the early development of CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs), he welcomed the increased investments of Chinese enterprises, especially in the country’s industrial development.
Referring to the increasing bilateral trade volumes and Pakistan’s record exports of $3.6 billion in 2021, the prime minister emphasised that enhanced market access for Pakistani exports to China would help realise the full potential of the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement.
The premier was accompanied by Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Minister of State Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and special assistants to PM Tariq Fatemi, Zafarullah Mahmood and Jehanzab Khan.