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CPEC projects are not limited to infrastructure: Asad Umar

A Chinese firm will set up a steel mill in Rashakai SEZ, with an investment of $240 million

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar has said that the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects are not just restricted to infrastructure now, with a $240 million investment, a Chinese company will construct a steel mill in the Rashakai SEZ.

He also said that CPEC is entering into the second phase which is the most important phase since working for the provision of basic necessities is underway at a swift pace.

He was speaking at a reception, on Sunday, commemorating the arrival of the first consignment of equipment and machinery for Century Steel at the Karachi Port, in preparation for the company’s plans to construct a steel mill in the Rashakai Special Economic Zone.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development said that “the way the government handled the pandemic situation and made efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, it would also continue working day and night for the success of CPEC.”

He called the occasion another evidence of outstanding relations between Pakistan and China.

According to Umar, CPEC is now in its most critical second phase, and the projects are no longer confined to infrastructure.

The minister also stated that work on providing basic amenities, such as electricity and other services, at the Rashakai SEZ was progressing at a rapid rate.

He stated that the CRBC, a Chinese company, had signed an agreement with Pakistan as part of the CPEC to encourage foreign investment for production and marketing in the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The minister also stated that work on providing basic amenities, such as electricity and other services, at the Rashakai SEZ was progressing at a rapid rate.

Century Steel, a Chinese company, will spend $240 million in Rashakai SEZ to construct a steel mill that will manufacture 1.5 million tons of steel, according to Umar.

He added, “The CPEC is moving practically into the exciting phase of industrial cooperation with foreign investment, transferring technology and creating jobs.”

During the construction process, the company will hire over 600 Pakistanis, while the second phase will employ over 1,000 workers.

Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Consul General in Karachi Li Bijian said that the economy of Pakistan was improving and gaining traction amid the negative impact of the global pandemic and that the construction sector, in particular, had seen faster growth and demand for steel had increased, thanks to the government’s concerted efforts.

The first phase of the CPEC has been completed thanks to the brilliant efforts of both China and Pakistan, he added, adding that they are confident in gaining more and more investments in the Rashakai SEZ.

The consul-general expressed gratitude to the federal government, especially the chairperson of the CPEC Authority, for his support and efforts.

He said it was an honor for him to be present at the arrival of the first consignment of Century Steel equipment and machinery.

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