CPEC, Pakistan Agriculture News

CPEC umbrella projects: Pakistan, China likely to sign three agreements

ISLAMABAD  –   Pakistan and China are likely to sign three agreements related to CPEC umbrella projects, Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ), socio economic development cooperation and agriculture cooperation, on April 28.

Agreement for the establishment of Pakistan’s first SEZ at Rashakai, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa will be finalized during the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ongoing visit to China, official sources told The Nation here Thursday. Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has already announced that Rashakai Special Economic Zone will be inaugurated next month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan left on Thursday (today) for China to participate in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF). China and Pakistan will finalise the initiative of the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ongoing visit of to China.

The second agreement is related to CPEC socio economic development cooperation, said the source. Pakistan and China have shortlisted 27 projects to be funded with China aid under CPEC socio economic development cooperation and the agreement will be signed on April 28. The 27 shortlisted projects will be executed under first phase of CPEC socio economic development cooperation, said the source.

The Chinese experts group had recently concluded a 12 days tour to Pakistan where they have shortlisted several projects to be funded with the Chinese grant in the provinces and regions under CPEC. Now an MoU on the projects is likely to be signed in upcoming Belt and Road Forum.

The Chinese delegation headed by Du Zhenli, comprising of 13 experts from socio economic development field, arrived here during last week of February and was here for around 12 days. China has agreed to extend a grant of one billion dollars for the socio economic development under CPEC and the projects in six identified areas will be funded through China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).

The provinces and regions had submitted around 100 projects to the Chinese experts to secure grant for the socioeconomic development under CPEC. The projects submitted by the provinces and AJK include, in agriculture, fisheries, livestock, health, solarization of water supply schemes, telemedicine, smart schools etc, said the source.

However all of them are small projects which are worth Rs 100 million to Rs 300 million, the source said. The experts discussed the finalization of action plan with Pakistani experts, said the source. The finalization of MoU will help to launch pilot projects in the selective districts of the country.

After due consideration, the expert group had shortlisted some projects and it has decided that in first phase it will start the execution of projects with shortest implementation time. For example, the source said, there was a demand of establishing burn centers from all the provinces and regions, therefore it was decided to execute these projects in the first phase.

The project is easy to execute and can be completed within few months, said the source. The 3rd agreement will be signed for agriculture cooperation, the source said. Under agriculture cooperation, the establishment of Mouth and Foot disease free zone in South Punjab will be signed on April 28, said the source. Besides CPEC cooperation an agreement on China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement-II (CPFTA-II) will also be signed on April 28.