However, both sides have so far been unable to make progress on the much-delayed multibillion-dollar project of Mainline-1 (ML-1) despite making of efforts, as the financing agreement has not yet been firmed up.
Pakistan’s federal cabinet also granted approval for signing of much-awaited industrial cooperation between the two countries under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “Pakistani authorities are expecting that the ongoing visit of PM Imran Khan will pave the way for boosting bilateral relations and minimum size of cooperation will be over $10 billion,” official sources confirmed to The News on Friday.
While the parties are proactively promoting, facilitating and executing the long-term industrial development plan, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a framework of regional connectivity, infrastructure development, and industrial cooperation which will not only benefit the parties but also have a positive impact in the region.
The success of the early harvest projects pertaining to energy and infrastructure has set the foundation for CPEC to enter the pragmatic phase of an enhanced level of industrial cooperation, leading to substantial investment and financing from Chinese government and Chinese private enterprises with reciprocal efforts by the Pakistani government, to provide an encouraging business environment and achieve mutual success as envisaged in the long-term plan of CPEC, signed in 2017 and the MoU on industrial cooperation under CPEC, signed in 2018; the parties hereby agree, as mentioned in the following Articles of the Framework Agreement.
Article 1: As envisaged in the long-term plan, the main objective of the framework agreement is to enhance industrial competitiveness of Pakistan through encouraging Chinese enterprises to build factories and set up business in Pakistan. The focus of the partnership is to improve skill development, enhance labour productivity and encourage joint research and development. The principle of the partnership is to respect the enterprises as responsible entities on market-oriented guidelines, and to follow the business rules and international practices.
Article 2 : The joint Working Group (WG) on Industrial Cooperation under CPEC of the parties will provide guidelines to attract high-quality FM through encouragement of export-oriented high-tech industries, promoting industrialisation, development and population of the economic zones, enhancement of service sector competitiveness, forecasting perspective demand for human resources, ensuring requisite training of workforce; and for the initiation, planning, execution and monitoring of the projects (public as well as private sector) within the ambit agreed between the two countries.
China has advantages and expertise in technology, financing, and industrial capacity, while Pakistan enjoys favourable conditions in natural resources, adequate labour manpower, quality infrastructure, access to the international markets and optimal policies for industrial development.