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Scope of CPEC to be enhanced in 2nd phase: Pak official

Islamabad, April 9 (IANS) The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is making steady progress, and its scope will be further enhanced in the second phase, a top official said here.

The industrial development, agriculture, food security, science and technology, and tourism will be the major sectors in the second phase of the multi-billion-dollar project, CPEC Authority in Pakistan Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Many projects focusing on infrastructure and energy sectors in the first phase of CPEC have been completed and are already operational, and work on the second phase was underway, reports Xinhua news agency.

Talking to Xinhua, Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank, said that the foreign direct investment by Chinese companies in the special economic zones under CPEC, was expected to be the major contributor to the uplift of Pakistan’s economy in the post COVID-19 scenario.

The process of formation of joint ventures between the private sectors of the both countries has already been initiated, and will get a further boost when things got back to normal after the disease is defeated.

CPEC is a flagship $60 billion project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines and sea lanes.

The multi-billion dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.

–IANS

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