ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has said the first CPEC Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Rashkai will hit the ground in the coming six weeks.

The minister expressed these views while addressing the launching ceremony of "Friends of Silk Road" here Thursday.  The minister said that formation of CPEC business forum would help to create an interface with business community of Pakistan.

While endorsing the previous government stance of generating enough electricity, the minister highlighted that CPEC has helped to overcome sever energy crises in the country."Sufficient power availability is supporting to ensure investment in Pakistan," he added.

Bakhtyar said that President Xi Belt and Road Plan is transforming this century wherein China Pakistan Economic Corridor is an iconic project. He said CPEC is a project above the party or regional lines which enjoys full consensus of different stakeholders.

Minister said that CPEC 8th Joint Cooperation Committee has decided to make 2019 as "year of industrialization" and now Pakistan is fully focussing on development of special economic zone.

Minister intimated that Rashkai would be the first SEZ which will hit the ground in the coming six weeks.

Minister said industrial cooperation would support to overcome Pakistan's trade deficit. Government will facilitate investors with continuous policy support to create a "pull factor" he reiterated, adding that China would "push" its leading enterprises to relocate to Pakistan.

Minister said that the incumbent government has expanded base of CPEC with a vision "One Corridor, Many Doors". On these lines, Pakistan and China have signed agreements on agriculture cooperation, socio economic development and poverty alleviation during the Prime Minister's visit to China in November last year.

He informed that Chinese experts were visiting Pakistan this month in order to promote cooperation in this sector. He hailed Chinese government for its financial support, amounting to one billion dollar grant in order to facilitate socioeconomic development.

Minister PD&R said that agriculture sector is a major contributor of Pakistan's GDP which holds huge investment potentials in future. Pakistan and China have expedited cooperation in this sector by establishment of a full-fledged joint working group which is planned to meet next month.

Bakhtyar said that government attaches top priority to the development of Gwadar. Groundbreaking of a number of projects including Gwadar Power Plant, New International Airport, Vocational Institute and Hospital would be done in the coming few weeks, he informed. Similarly, Gwadar Master Plan would be finalized in the coming 6 weeks, he added.

Minister said that Pakistan is fully committed to take CPEC to new heights. We will participate with full preparation in the Belt and Road Forum, planned in the month of April, he vowed.