Pakistan, China revive Joint Economic Committee after 11 years to ‘strengthen bilateral ties’

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Pakistan and China on Wednesday resumed the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting after an 11-year pause to strengthen bilateral ties under the broader framework, Pakistan media reported.

The JEC forum has been placed on hold as everything is being settled through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project for the last eight years, a report by The News said.

According to an official statement, Minister for Economic Affairs Pakistan Omar Ayub Khan delivered the opening remarks at the 15th Session of the Pakistan-China Joint Economic Committee on Economic, Trade, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation.

He praised China’s government for hosting the JEC’s 15th session after an 11-year gap.

China Vice Minister Ren Hongbin, and Economic Affairs Division Secretary Mian Asad Hayaud Din co-chaired the JEC virtual meeting.

Ayub expressed his pleasure at the completion of a 70-year friendship between Pakistan and China, which he described as “unprecedented.”

He pointed to the 1982 Bilateral Agreement for the Establishment of a Joint Committee for Economic, Trade, Scientific, and Technical Collaboration as the bedrock of bilateral cooperation to emphasize the significance of the occasion.

He claimed that Pakistan and China have always backed each other up on all fronts.

Pakistan was one of the first countries to show solidarity with China when the COVID pandemic broke out, and its president paid a visit to Beijing during the outbreak. Similarly, China’s government aided Pakistan in pandemic preparedness, the report said.

Chinese firms offered COVID vaccines on a priority basis and provided approximately four million doses of vaccines free of charge to boost Pakistan’s mass vaccination programme.

The minister for economic affairs highlighted that Pakistan and China are entering into the next phase of CPEC, where Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being established.

The SEZs will attract foreign direct investment, establish industrial units, create employment opportunities and boost economic activities, he said.


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