Following PM Imran Khan’s Visit To China, Pakistan and China have reached the Framework Agreement On Industrial Cooperation here on Friday right after the arrival of the PM on a four-day visit to the Republic of China. The PM is in China to participate in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and to have meetings with the political leadership of China. The agreement was signed between Chairman Pakistan Board of Investment Afzal Ahsan and the chairman of National Development and Reforms Commission (NRDC) He Lifeng from China. In 2018, both sides had reached an MOU during the 8th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) for future agreements for industrial cooperation. The Joint Working Group (JWG) on industrial cooperation was also formed to attract foreign investment, enhance industrialization and develop economic zones. The JWG was also responsible to monitor the relevant projects.
CPEC has now entered into the second phase which mainly comprises industrialization and special economic zones, so the need for such an agreement had become more vital. The PM also had meetings with heads of some 16 top companies of the world. The statement issued by the PM office said, “The corporate leaders briefed the prime minister on the progress of their ongoing projects in Pakistan." While speaking on the occasion the PM appreciated the keen interest of Chinese companies to make investments in Pakistan. The PM office statement further added, “Highlighting deepening economic and trade ties between the two countries, he informed the Chinese corporate leaders about steps [taken] to create [a] conducive environment for Chinese investment in Pakistan and encouraged them to benefit from business-friendly policies for investment in CPEC SEZs." PM Khan also has initiated the Pak-China Business Investment Forum previously.
Earlier last year, after the meeting of the Joint coordination committee in September the Chine Foreign Office expressed its pleasure over the understandings reached in the JCC meeting. The Chinese FO spokesman had said, “I would like to extend congratulations to the outcomes of this meeting. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. CPEC is a landmark and pilot program under the Belt and Road Initiative.” The spokesman further added, “The phase one of CPEC has made huge progress in infrastructure thanks to the commitment of the top leadership of both countries, and that as CPEC has entered the second phase of high-quality development, both sides will foster closer economic ties and realize the great visions of the leaders of both countries to live up to the expectations of our two peoples.”