Islamabad - The government on Tuesday accorded approval to kick start the establishment of state-of-the-art Science and Technology & Logistics Centre in Islamabad to give wider access to Chinese trade commodities.

A high-level delegation from Xinjiang, China, met representatives of Ministry of Science and Technology, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Board of Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in a meeting held at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamabad.

Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister of Science and Technology, was briefed over the mega project which comprises a science and technology park, logistics park, a five-star hotel and a mega shopping mall.

The Xinjiang 13th Division is the counterpart organisation from China which is investing in Pakistan.

The objective of the project is to give wider access of Chinese trade commodities coming to Pakistan through Kashgar and routing them towards Gwadar. Due to its strategic position, Islamabad has been considered to be the most ideal place for the project.

The organisation is planning to invest RMB 18 billion in the project and will be completed in four phases.

Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, while chairing the meeting, expressed his willingness to initiate the project as soon as possible and assured of complete support from the Ministry of Science and Technology in executing the project. He lauded the efforts of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in moving beyond just imparting conventional education and taking such mega initiatives for the development of the country.

Dr Zahir Shah from Planning Commission also commented the project and assured of his full support. He also offered his willingness to link the project with Pak-China Economic Corridor. Huang Zhigang, Secretary General of the Communist Party, said that he is very optimistic to carry on the project with such a dedicated and committed team of professionals.

Secretary MoST Kamran Ali Qureshi also commented that COMSATS IIT has already deployed a professional team to carry on the project and “with this spirit we may be able to initiate the project very soon.”

Representative from Board of Investment also assured that the project site would be given a special economic zone status.

The delegation from Xinjiang is on a weeklong tour to Pakistan and is having several high-level meetings in Pakistan.

The secretary MoST concluded the meeting by directing the rector COMSATS IIT to establish an office and a team to work dedicatedly for the project.