Beijing to invest $1 billion on 27 CPEC projects

Islamabad: From Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ), social development and a new agreement on free trade has been signed.

The first SEZ comprises of 20 factories being setup in Rashakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The Rashakai SEZ Joint Venture and License Agreement has been signed between the China Road and Bridge Corporation and KP Economic Zones Development and Management Company. Further progress on the SEZs will remains dependant on how it evolves.

Another MoU between the Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and the China International Development Cooperation Agency was also signed. It was in regards to implementation of 27 projects under Joint Working Group of CPEC. These include health, human resource development, education, agriculture, poverty alleviation and water and irrigation. Chinese government will be spending $1 billion for it.

A new Free Trade Agreement taking FTA in its second stage was signed as well. Aimed at strengthening ties, China has agreed to open 90 percent of its market to Pakistani goods. Pakistan would share 65 percent of its market with exports from China.

An agreement on the technical package for the up gradation of Pakistan’s main railway line ML-1 was also signed. It aims to increase line capacity from 34 to 171 trains and also raise freight volumes from six to 35 million annually. Declaration for Preliminary Design for completion of the first phase of PR’s existing ML-1 has been signed.

Agreements for the setting up of dry ports and cooperation in technical, economic and marine has also been made.

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