ISLAMABAD              -     Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday underscored that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was Pakistan’s top priority as it was pivotal for its economic transformation as well as for further fortifying the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries.

The prime minister was talking to National Development and Reform Commission (NDRD) Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe, who called on him here at the PM Office.

He noted that the NDRD vice chairman’s visit was of great significance as it would help consolidate the gains made during the first phase of CPEC and accelerate the implementation of the second phase.

Recalling his recent visit to China, the prime minister deeply appreciated the support extended by the Chinese leadership to Pakistan on all issues. Among other things, he emphasised the importance of ML-1 for modernising Pakistan’s railway system and also invited the NDRC vice chairman to explore opportunities in steel industry, copper and gold mining, and increased agricultural productivity.

The new projects would impart a strong impetus to the second phase of CPEC and usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries for the benefit of the people of Pakistan, he added. The NDRC vice chairman expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him and conveyed cordial greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He reiterated China’s commitment to further deepening the Pakistan-China partnership in all fields. Lauding the steps taken by Pakistan to enhance coordination and accelerate completion of CPEC projects, he expressed the hope that CPEC through early harvest projects would provide practical benefits to the people of Pakistan.

NDRC Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe is visiting Pakistan along with his delegation to co-chair the 9th Meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC.