Pakistan on Saturday signed billions of rupees worth of new agreements with China ahead of “One Belt One Road” summit in Beijing being attended by around 30 heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, besides delegates from around 130 countries.
The deals came as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the May 14-15 OBOR summit.
Nawaz who had hectic engagements here, including separate meetings with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and chairing “Bhasha Project Conference, talked to reporters in intervals.
In his meeting with President Xi, Nawaz said his government was sparing no effort for active implementation of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) though it had made good progress in execution of energy and infrastructure projects.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a core component of your visionary initiative of the “One Belt-One Road. We sincerely appreciate your commitment and leadership for the realization of CPEC projects,” Nawaz told President Xi at the presidential office.
The prime minister was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz
Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zahri.
Federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, state minister Ms. Anusha Rehman and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also accompanied him.
President Xi Jinping was accompanied by his high level nine-member delegation.
Earlier, Nawaz met his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and emphasised accelerating the implementation of projects in Gwadar and establishment of special economic and industrial zones (SEIZs).
Nawaz said the composition of his delegation represented the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.
“The presence of all four provincial chief ministers symbolizes the broad-based support in Pakistan for cooperation with China and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he observed.
He said Pakistan stood with China for promotion of President Xi Jinping’s visionary initiative of OBOR.
He said the Pakistan-China friendship enjoyed popular support in Pakistan and high-level exchanges were indicative of the fast-growing bilateral relations.
However, he also stressed the need to sustain the momentum with a view to further strengthening this relationship.
Nawaz congratulated Premier Li on hosting the OBOR forum and said Pakistan fully supported the visionary project.
He said the composition of his delegation to China, particularly the presence of four chief ministers, testified to the broad-based Pak-China friendship.
He said Pakistan believed that China’s strategic policies in the region were for peace and prosperity.
He said Pakistan was grateful to China’s support for the launch of CPEC. He said the corridor presented a great opportunity for strengthening regional economy.
President Xi Jinping welcomed Nawaz Sharif and his delegation for attending the forum and expressed his satisfaction over the pace of growing bilateral ties.
He said the two countries had more potential to strengthen bilateral cooperation pertaining to implementation of CPEC and other regional connectivity projects.
Agreements signed: The two countries inked six accords of cooperation in diverse fields including Framework Agreement on upgradation of Main Line-1 rail track and establishment of dry port at Havelian.
Nawaz Sharif and Premier Li witnessed the signing ceremony.
The Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding signed between the two countries are, Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (1.5 billion RMB for Gwadar Airport etc.), Framework Agreement on implementation of up-gradation of ML-1 and establishment of Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan, MoU on implementation of ML-1 and establishment of Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan, Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (0.8 billion RMB for Gwadar Airport),