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Cabinet panel on CPEC to fine-tune PM’s China agenda

Updated 24 Jan, 2022
The BoI had moved a summary to the CCoCPEC, seeking approval for the establishment of the CPEC Business and Industrial Tower in Islamabad. Reuters/File
The BoI had moved a summary to the CCoCPEC, seeking approval for the establishment of the CPEC Business and Industrial Tower in Islamabad. Reuters/File

The Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC) scheduled for Monday will fine-tune the CPEC-centric agenda before Prime Minister Imran Khan’s expected visit to China, it is learnt.

Official sources revealed to Business Recorder that Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar will chair the meeting, which would discuss five item agenda.

The meeting is being considered important before the Prime Minister’s visit, who is expected to visit China from 3-5 February 2022, where meetings with the Chinese leadership are envisaged. The Board of Investment (BOI) would brief the CCoCPEC on the assessment of investment potential of Gwadar Free Zone. The BOI would also inform the committee about the CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower.

PM to interact with private sector during China visit

The BoI had moved a summary to the CCoCPEC, seeking approval for the establishment of the CPEC Business and Industrial Tower in Islamabad.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had already been requested by the BOI for identification of a suitable piece of land in Islamabad on 8th May 2020; however, no suitable land could be identified for the project so far. Whereas, a few of the state-owned Chinese companies have already approached the BOI to explore this project and have expressed their interest to execute it with the BOI in public-private partnership mode.

In the 1st Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on Industrial Cooperation (IC) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, held in November 2016, the Pakistani side proposed the construction of eight multi-storied CPEC towers in the ICT, all provincial/ regional capitals, as well as, in Gwadar to provide potential Chinese investors and their Pakistani counterparts with adequate services and space, with a special focus on services sector.

Later, the Pakistani side again shared this idea with the Chinese side in the second meeting of the JWG on Industrial Cooperation held in November 2017, that both sides may work on iconic projects under the Industrial Cooperation; however, no further development could take place in this regard.

It was proposed that the cost of land, to the tune of Rs500 million for this project, may be borne by the BOI from its own resources without seeking any additional budget grant; whereas, the cost of construction of the CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower may be borne by the Chinese counterpart or by a partner selected after international competitive bidding; and the project to be executed in public-private partnership mode.

Proportionate equity against the land may be taken by the BOI in the project, after valuation of the land on market principles, the summary noted.

The Defence Ministry would brief the CCoCPEC on the implementation plan for vacation of PCG and PN land at Shaba Ismail Gwadar.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs would apprise the meeting about the recommendations of the committee on development of Gwadar under various modalities.

The Petroleum Division would brief the committee on the progress updates provision of utilities for the CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

This story was originally published here.