ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been extended to include industrial, agricultural and social cooperation, with the textile, auto, iron, steel, and mines and minerals sectors also being included in the mega project.
He termed the country’s economic growth important to its security and announced that need-based scholarships worth Rs6 billion have been allocated under the ‘Ehsaas’ programme. He was speaking while inaugurating an annual conference of CPEC universities at the convention centre here. He visited various stalls on the occasion.
The Chinese ambassador was also in attendance at the conference. Bakhtiar stressed the importance of contacts between the Pakistani and Chinese peoples and disclosed that China had provided Pakistan Rs1 billion dollars in social sector grants.
He claimed that the federal government was introducing structural reforms to improve the economy as the country had a substantial current account deficit and an economy based on imports could not be a stable one. He also revealed that the private sectors of the two countries intended to increase cooperation.
He termed smart phones part and parcel of life today and disclosed that the smart phone company of china was spending more than 18 billion dollars on smart phones.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2019.