ISLAMABAD: CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa said on Friday that the agreement on establishing Rashakai Special Economic Zone would be signed in the third week of August.

According to him, the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was all about taking its dividends to the public. He said socio-economic development in Gwadar and other parts of Balochistan had been initiated with a focus on ensuring the participation of local people in all the development projects.

Bajwa, who is also Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, was chairing a special dialogue titled ‘Gwadar Por, Free Economic Zones’ Role in the Prosperity of Balochistan and Regional Connectivity’, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.

He said that Gwadar port, as well as the airport, had become fully functional now and Afghan Transit Trade has to divert towards the city, adding the National Development Council during its recent meeting had decided to pay special focus on the development of Balochistan. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

The Gwadar District Economic Zone is being developed in addition to the Gwadar City. Besides, vocational training is being provided to enable local population to participate and fully benefit from the projects.

China Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, while sharing his views commented that Gwadar had huge potential for the development and regional connectivity. He said that the government here and all concerned authorities including CPEC’s played vital role in moving the project forward.

Therefore, several economic initiatives have already been taken by the Chinese government as well as private companies with the help of local partners.

He added that Gwadar was not just a port but a comprehensive business project and thanks to tax incentives announced by the Government of Pakistan, the area now offers a lot of potential for the trade and investment.

The envoy said that Chinese government was committed to provide all the resources that might be required for the future development needs of Gwadar.

Jing affirmed that China wanted to expand its cooperation for the development of whole Balochistan including agricultural, such as testing cottonseed in the province. ­