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Federal Minister for Planning & Development and
Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said on Sunday that trade deficit of $
9 billion would be reduced with the operation of all the four economic
zones of the country.
Briefing media at Press Information Department regional office, he
disclosed that China and Pakistan would also start joint working on
agriculture sector next month, asserting that China would provide $
one billion grant to Pakistan in next three years. He added that
around 100 Chinese investors would soon visit Pakistan to explore
investment opportunities in various sectors.
Khusro Bakhtyar mentioned that Pakistan and China had signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on industrial cooperation on
December 20, 2018.
To a question, he said that trade deficit recorded 19
percent reduction last month, while country’s exports jacked up and
PTI government, he said, had decided to take China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC) into new phase by widening the CPEC structure. Prime
Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China was focused on strengthening of
He said that government was also putting in place effective measures
to reduce current account deficit, besides prioritizing export sector
facilitation to ensure increase in country’s overall exports volume.
Federal Minister said that agriculture sector was not in focus in the
CPEC but the present government convinced China to also extend
cooperation in this vital sector. He mentioned that China had $ 7
billion share in the global trade of agriculture and livestock, and $
3 billion in fisheries but Pakistan had no share in these trades. He
said that China would cooperate with Pakistan in processing of fruit
Khuro Bakhtyar said that government was paying greater attention
towards skill development and promotion of education, health and
irrigation in least developed areas was among priorities of the
He said that Pakistan with the cooperation of China, was working on
elimination of poverty as China had pulled its 700 million people out
of poverty. Initiation of pilot project on Chinese pattern would
definitely help reduce poverty substantially.
To a question he said that Saudi Arabia and UAE had shown keen
interest in the establishment of oil city in Gawadar, adding that
government was also considering the promotion of infrastructure and
development of western corridor. In this connection, he added, Quetta
and Zhob cities of Balochistan were being linked through international
To another question, he said that work on railway track (ML-1) between
Peshawar and Karachi would soon be initiated and development projects
were being completed on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis.
On the directives of Prime Minister, he said, CPEC projects were being
executed speedily to ensure economic development in the country.
He said that business advisory council was being setup, assuring that
industry would have proper representation in this council.
To a query, he said that federal government was in liaison with
Balochistan Chief Minister with regard to development of Balochistan,
which had great importance.
Responding to a reporter’s query, he said that South Punjab
Secretariat would be functional by June 30, 2019.