CPEC enters next phase of development

In this file photo, Chinese worker stands near trucks carrying goods during the opening of a trade project in Gwadar port, some 700 km west of the Pakistani city of Karachi on Nov. 13, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2018
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CPEC enters next phase of development

  • The best of CPEC is yet to come, says Sen. Mushahid Hussain
  • The two sides agree to focus on new Gwadar airport, socioeconomic development

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and Beijing on Thursday decided to prioritize the conclusion of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that are associated with Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, ahead of a Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) session scheduled tentatively for the first week of December in Beijing.
The JCC is CPEC’s lead policymaker. Seven ministerial sessions of the committee have been held since the project’s inception.
The two sides agreed to focus on the new Gwadar international airport, socioeconomic development, a hospital, and professional and technical institutes.      
Pakistan has emphasized improvement of its railways, special economic zones and third-country participation, which will be discussed at the eighth JCC meeting.
Sen. Mushahid Hussain, chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute, told Arab News: “The best of CPEC is yet to come. Total outlay as of now is $61 billion, which is the single biggest bilateral project between two countries since World War II.”
He said: “The next phase of CPEC includes agriculture, culture, tourism, information technology, education and youth exchanges.”
Li Xiguang, director of China’s Tsinghua University, told Arab News that if both governments negotiate a mutually beneficial deal on Pakistani agricultural exports, especially cotton and sticky rice, “that would sell very well in China and fetch a high price.”      
Li praised soil quality across the four provinces of Pakistan, whose agriculture sector makes up to 20 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and has attracted Chinese entrepreneurs seeking land for farming since CPEC’s inception.
Hussain said: “You’re looking at job creation, manufacturing, and a better tomorrow for our people.”


Polish PM cancels Israel visit amid new Holocaust tensions

Updated 17 February 2019
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Polish PM cancels Israel visit amid new Holocaust tensions

  • Netanyahu made an off-hand comment last week during a conference in Warsaw that “Poles cooperated with the Nazis”

WARSAW: A Polish government official says Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not attend a meeting in Israel starting Monday amid new tensions between the two countries over how to remember Polish behavior during the Holocaust.
Michal Dworczyk, who heads Morawiecki’s chancellery, announced the change of plans on Sunday.
Netanyahu made an off-hand comment last week during a Middle East conference in Warsaw that “Poles cooperated with the Nazis” — wording suggesting some Poles during the German occupation of Poland participated in killing Jews.
He was initially quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying “the Poles,” which could be taken as blaming the entire Polish nation.
Both Netanyahu’s office and the newspaper say he was misquoted in an editing error, but the Polish government said it was not satisfied.