China and Pakistan on Thursday announced the establishment of a joint working group on information technology under the Joint Cooperation Committee for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, marking the latest move to forge closer economic ties between the two nations.
Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation's top economic regulator, said the two sides will make a big push to boost the high-quality development of the CPEC.
Ning told the 10th Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting for the CPEC on Thursday in Beijing that the corridor is considered a flagship and pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and considerable progress has been made during the past eight years.
"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has brought in direct investment of $25.4 billion to Pakistan and created thousands of jobs for local people," Ning said. "We will continue to take the CPEC as the core while prioritizing Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation."
According to Ning, more efforts will also be made to enhance bilateral cooperation in fields such as industry, science and technology.
Asad Umar, Pakistan's minister for planning, development and special initiatives, said the CPEC has entered the second stage of high-quality development, and he is looking forward to closer economic ties between the two nations.
According to him, the newly established joint working group on information technology will be key to strengthening bilateral cooperation in science and technology, which will help Pakistan embrace the new era of economic development driven by high-tech.
Looking ahead, Umar said Pakistan expects to forge closer cooperation in a wider range of fields, in terms of science and technology, and the country will ramp up efforts to optimize the business environment for Chinese investors.
The one-day meeting, held via video link, was held by the NDRC and the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives of Pakistan. Around 200 representatives of both governments, financial institutions, enterprises and public sectors participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, China and Pakistan also signed five documents for cooperation on different projects under the CPEC to enhance bilateral engagement. The two sides announced the signing of three cooperation agreements between enterprises.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan.