China, Pakistan agree to broaden the scope of CPEC

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China and Pakistan have agreed to broaden the scope of CPEC, further strengthen the JCC mechanism through increased frequency of exchanges at the eighth meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) held in Beijing on Dec. 20, 2018.

Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China's National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC), co-chaired the meeting with Pakistan's Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar. 

Ning said that CPEC serves the fundamental interests of two countries and their peoples. Calling the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to China as "phenomenal success" he expressed confidence that the China-Pakistan relationship would continue to grow and prosper. 

Bakhtyar has reiterated Pakistan's firm commitment to CPEC which he termed as the heart and soul of Pakistan-China economic cooperation. Appreciating the progress made in CPEC, Pakistan's Minister for Planning said, "the stage is now set to take it to the next level wherein the cooperation can be diversified to more trade and industrial cooperation, socio-economic development, agriculture, people-to-people interaction and knowledge sharing under the clear vision set by our leadership." 

Highlights of the JCC included conclusion of a MoU on Industrial Cooperation andestablishing a cooperation framework on socioeconomic development. The MoU of industrial cooperation would include cooperation in diverse industries such as textiles, petrochemicals, iron and steel, and mines and minerals.

Pakistan's Minister for Planning said that cooperation in industrial sector would help attract investment in special economic zones and encourage relocation of Chinese industry. 

While undertaking review of areas of cooperation under CPEC, the two sides expressed satisfaction and showed willingness to expedite work on all projects including Gwadar.

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