Nawaz, Li express satisfaction over implementation of CPEC



Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the economic corridor project and hoped that it would bring prosperity for the people of the two countries and the region as well.

Both sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse fields, particularly in economy and energy sectors.

Both leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional situation as they met on the sidelines of the 14th SCO Heads of Government meeting.

Implementation of the economic corridor project and energy and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan also featured during the meeting.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi were also present on the occasion.

The prime minister felicitated the Chinese leadership for approval of Yuan by International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Global Reserve Currency and said it was an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global financial system and recognition of China as a major financial power.

Sharif said Pakistan and China are celebrating the Year of Friendly Exchanges and next year would be marking 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

“We should tap this opportunity to further promote people-to-people contacts,” he added.

He expressed satisfaction with progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said that Pakistan wanted that all the projects be implemented in a timely and efficient manner.

He said that cooperation between Pakistan and China was reflection of the close friendship between the two countries and the new projects would change the destiny of the people of the region.

Sharif said that Pakistan would like the Chinese side to allow Pakistan to open a trade cum visa office in Urumqi to facilitate the CPEC projects’ implementation and people to people exchanges.

He said the progress achieved by Pakistan’s handing over of Gwadar Port Free Zone to China was a good beginning for initiating the process of building the economic zone.

The premier informed his Chinese counterpart that the operation Zarb-e-Azb in FATA and National Action Plan in the country are being successfully implemented.

Both leaders also discussed the Afghan reconciliation process and the recently held Heart of Asia Conference in Islamabad in which a Steering Committee comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US was set up which would supervise the process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and coordinate efforts in this regard.

Sharif also apprised the Chinese premier of his recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad and said it had yielded encouraging results.

He said that the two countries had agreed to resume comprehensive bilateral dialogue process, which was a welcome development.

The prime minister thanked China’s support for Pakistan being accepted as full member of the SCO.

Sharif invited his Chinese counterpart to visit Pakistan, which he accepted.

The Chinese prime minister on the occasion said that the relationship between Pakistan and China is deep-rooted between the two peoples. He said that China supports a strong and stable Pakistan and desires for a stronger relationship in the future.