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China to provide $1 billion for socio-economic development in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtyar has said that China will provide USD 1 billion for socio economic development in Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported.

Speaking at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor forum in Islamabad on Friday, he said cooperation in education, health, water, poverty alleviation and other sectors has been included in socio-economic development.

The minister said industrial and agricultural development will be focused in the next phase of CPEC.

He urged the private sector to take lead in industrial development. He said cooperation in industrial sector will further strengthen relationship between Pakistan and China.

Khusro Bakhtyar said China has offered free access for export of 313 Pakistani items.

He said the PTI government wants to increase business opportunities under CPEC; and for the purpose, Pakistan-China Business Forum is being set up.

He said memorandum of understanding has been signed with China for establishing foot and mouth disease free zones.

Khusro Bakhtyar said huge investment was made in energy sector under CPEC in Pakistan during the last six years.

He said in infrastructure sector, railway network and development of coastal areas, including Gwadar Port, are being given special importance. He said Gwadar Master Plan will give impetus to economic activity in Gwadar.

He said Pakistan desires to benefit from Chinese experience in different sectors, including livestock, fishing and research.

The Minister said structural reforms are being introduced in the country. The government is committed to strengthening of institutions. He said tax net will have to be expanded to increase economic growth. He said measures are being taken to enhance exports.

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