Pakistan, China Invite Third-Country Investors to Invest in CPEC
The two parties have also decided to re-prioritising Gwadar port as a hub of exports to attract investors.
The Planning, Development and Reforms Commission of Pakistan and the National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) of China have decided to invite third-country investors to be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reported Dawn.
In a meeting, held on Sunday, 9 September, a delegation led by Pakistan’s Minister of Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and NDRC’s Vice President Ning Jizhe decided that the two countries will be adding social sector and regional development schemes to the CPEC portfolio.
According to Dawn, no country has been mentioned specifically but countries friendly to both China and Pakistan could be invited to invest in the nine Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Speaking to the daily, an official said that the decision has been taken to ensure that two countries are not criticised at the international level for maintaining secrecy over the project.
A Plan to Transform Gwadar Port
A source close to the meeting also told Dawn that it has been decided during the meeting that Gwadar will be re-prioritised as a hub of exports to attract third-party investors. The objective is to transform the port into a trans-shipment hub that could produce a high rate of return.
However, since the two countries have not settled issues related to Rashakai or Hattar SEZ, it might be difficult to get investors immediately. The official also added that the two countries will now work towards the big objectives of CPEC.
Pakistan Planning Minister Bakhtiar has already ordered that the SEZ projects should be started as a lot of time has been wasted. The minister in a statement said:
“Realigning the goals of CPEC, Pakistan has introduced new targets of socio-economic and regional development under this unprecedented mega project.”
According to Dawn, the PTI led Imran Khan government has “accorded top priority to Gwadar’s development as a standalone project.”
The two countries have also agreed to accelerate projects in Gwadar and ensure “groundbreaking” of the New Gwadar International Airport, and a hospital.
(With inputs from Dawn)
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