ISLAMABAD-The Joint Working Group (JWG) on Socio-economic Development under CPEC Framework has decided to prepare documents for signing as deliverables of the forthcoming 10th JCC and also prepare projects for 3rd phase of the corridor.

In the first batch of Socio-economic Development under CPEC Framework, currently 17 projects are underway with the Chinese funding of $1 billion and more deliverables are being added for the next CPEC JCC which is likely to be held in the third week of ongoing month, official source said.

A 2nd meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Socio-economic Development under CPEC Framework was held on Wednesday via video link, to discuss and review the projects under $1 billion Chinese grant. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Boqing, Vice Chairman, China International Development & Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) from Chinese side and Mathar Niaz Rana, Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives from Pakistani side. 

Both sides expressed satisfaction over the progress of the projects being undertaken under this JWG in key areas of agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation and vocational training. It was highlighted that the socio-economic cooperation between the two countries is as per the vision of the two leaderships.

The meeting reviewed the progress of fast-track and priority projects. The projects including agriculture technology laboratories, provision of equipment & tools and demonstration stations in the agriculture sector, smart classroom project and overseas student scholarship programme in the education sector, Pakistan Vocational Schools Equipment and solarization project in Balochistan in addition to drinking water supply project for AJK & KP were reviewed with satisfaction. Moreover, Pak-China Friendship Hospital, Vocational Technical School and desalination plant in Gwadar were also discussed. It was reiterated to implement these ongoing projects as per the decided timelines.

The Pakistani side emphasized to expedite technical education projects including cooperative project with Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in KP and Punjab Tianjin University of Technology. It was also suggested to carry out the Burn Centre projects in all provinces and regions on priority. Furthermore, the Pakistani side also discussed the poverty alleviation research project with Chinese side and desired to learn from Chinese experience in this area.  

The Chinese side appreciated the level of preparation and commitment of the Pakistan towards early implementation of the projects and acknowledged the level of coordination provided by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives. 

The Secretary Planning also suggested holding monthly review meetings to speed up the implementation of the projects under the Framework. The implementation in the COVID scenario also comes under discussion. 

The meeting was concluded with the decision to prepare documents for signing as deliverables of the forthcoming 10th JCC. It was also decided to prepare projects for 3rd phase and request was made to Chinese side to send their experts for the implementation of priority projects. 

The meeting was attended by senior officials and representatives of the federal ministries and provincial governments and representatives of the Chinese embassy. The two sides agreed that the pace on the implementation of the projects will be monitored to achieve the timelines.