ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Tuesday agreed to fast track the industrial cooperation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to accrue maximum benefits of this important phase and ensure win-win situation for the both countries.

This was decided in the first meeting of Joint Expert Working Group (JEWG) on industrial cooperation, held here, in which Pakistan side was led by Secretary Board of Investment (BoI) Azher Ali Choudhry and Chinese delegation was led by Director China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, Du Zhenli. Members and Officials from line ministers and provincial governments were also present on the occasion.

In his opening remarks, the secretary BoI expressed that the main gain from the CPEC is the industrial cooperation which will not only provide a win-win situation for both countries but will ensure sustainability of this multibillion dollars project

He said that the Chinese experience regarding establishment of industrial parks will be instrumental for Pakistan by using it as a tool for economic and social development of the country.

Du Zhenli mentioned that the entire visit remained highly productive and would go a long way to frame the future plans of industrial development in Pakistan.

Both sides had a detailed discussion on relocation of industry from China, incentive package for relocation of industry, opportunities available under export promotion zones, identification of industry to be parked in special economic zones, terms of engagements (ToE) for establishment of SEZs and up-gradation of human resource development through promotion of technical education.

Both sides agreed to ensure finalization of feasibilities and other codal formalities of prioritized SEZs before the 7th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting, expected to be held by the end of this year. The Chinese side expressed its satisfaction over the incentive package announced by Pakistani side and informed that a number of Chinese developers and enterprises are willing to invest in these SEZs.

Both sides agreed that SEZs under CPEC are open for all foreign and local Pakistani investors. Chinese developers and enterprises could enter into joint ventures with local developers and investors to ensure successful cooperation in this important sector of the CPEC.

Pakistani side has shared a proposal to upgrade skill development in Pakistan in line with needs of CPEC which includes transformation of National Training Bureau (NTB) into state of the art institute of technical and vocational training center in the federal capital for producing skilled workforce for CPEC projects, establishment of joint China-Pak training institutes in the main cities falling under CPEC routes such as Gilgit, Abbottabad, Islamabad, DI Khan and Quetta as well as establishment of public centers for a vocational training at Islamabad for imparting training to the youth and instructors on the “model of public center” for vocational training in Tianjin. It was decided that the proposal would be further discussed in detail on the forum of JWG on industry cooperation likely to be held next month.

The Chinese Expert Group is on its 8 days visit to Pakistan to ensure transfer of knowledge and share Chinese experience in development of industrial sector with Pakistani officials, members of academia and business community. Besides conducting three training workshops in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the group visited SEZ sites in Sindh, Punjab and KPK.