The FO said that the two countries also agreed to enhance bilateral trade volume in a balanced way. "In this respect, they resolved to implement the recently concluded 2nd Phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) at the earliest.”
The USD 60 billion CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of the multi-million dollar Border and Road Initiative (BRI) launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale's comments assume significance with India boycotting China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the grounds of territorial sovereignty as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a new initiative, China held a two-day symposium in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Tuesday to discuss how Buddhism could better serve BRI and resist separatism, state-run Global Times reported.
The Pakistani prime minister emphasised on the need to focus on early establishment of the Special Economic Zones in various parts of the country, which would help the local industry to grow through industrialisation and would also create huge employment opportunities for the youth.
The USD 50 billion CPEC, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.