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Chinese cos ready to invest in economic zones: CPEC chief

LAHORE: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that Chinese companies are ready to invest in economic zones, especially in agriculture and irrigation sectors, through government partnership under the CPEC second phase.

He said this while presiding over the second meeting of cabinet committee on CPEC projects at the Planning and Development Board here Tuesday.

In order to increase the interest of Chinese investors, he said “it is necessary for us to introduce business models according to the needs of investors in our industrial zones.” He further said the livestock and irrigation projects would also be included in the second phase of the CPEC which was a bigger challenge than the first phase as investment in it was the most important.

Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Provincial Minister for Agriculture Hussain Jahanian Gardezi, Chief Secretary Punjab Jawad Rafique Malik, Chairman Planning and Development Board and secretaries of all concerned departments were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that model economic zone would be set up under the CPEC to keep the overseas Pakistani and Chinese investors interests intact while priority would be given to agriculture and irrigation projects in the second phase of CPEC.

The finance minister directed to impart the technical training for local labour in accordance with need and demand of the Chinese partner companies for employment generation. He further directed that services of TEVTA institutions should be used for training of the local human resource instead of relying on Chinese investment for technical training. He asked all the TEVTA institutions affiliated with NEVTAC should be used.

The minister asked for reviewing the rules and regulations in accordance with the recommendations of the CPEC Joint Working Groups for starting business in the special economic zones. The federal government will address issues related to gas and electricity supply in economic zones on a priority basis.

There is an increase in investment and consumption of local labour in the province. In order to increase investment, it is necessary to ensure the provision of facilities as per the needs of the partners.

The provincial minister directed the secretary industry to compile a complete record of all TEVTA institutions with a detailed briefing on irrigation and agriculture projects at the next meeting to identify land for the special model economic zone under the CPEC. Apart from agricultural lands, the Auqaf department lands should also be identified for creation of the special model economic zones. The minister thanked the chairman for coming to Lahore to attend the meeting of CPEC Authority and termed it beneficial for CPEC projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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