A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022.

A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022.

A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022. The delegation held wide ranging discussions with senior officials of Chinese military and other government departments. Apex Meeting was held on 12 June wherein Pakistani side was headed by Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa while Chinese side was led by General Zhang Youxia Vice Chairman Central Military Commission of China. Both sides discussed their perspectives on international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defence cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at tri service level.

Belt and Road initiative is moving strongly

Lets Join CPEC and BRI Projects

Pakistan-IMF talks likely in Doha on May 18

Pakistan-IMF talks likely in Doha on May 18.withdrawing fuel subsidies from May 15,

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may begin talks on May 18 in Doha, as the country’s options to avoid insolvency have been limited after it could not immediately receive any major financial support from its three friendly countries.

Subject to the government’s willingness to start withdrawing fuel subsidies from May 15, the two sides have tentatively planned to meet in Qatar for policy level discussions to revive the program and extend its tenure and size to $8 billion, a senior government functionary told The Express Tribune.

The IMF has informed the government that it could send a mission to Doha for one week on May 18 for talks with Pakistan on the revival of the Extended Fund Facility, said the officials. However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will have to overcome all obstacles from his cabinet members before that and has to make a decision on fuel subsidies.

The sources said Prime Minister Shehbaz had directed the finance ministry to once again ask the IMF to partially relax its condition of increasing fuel prices.

The development comes amid a delay in the finalization of new loan deals with Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pakistan is awaiting a rollover of $2.3 billion Chinese commercial loans. Another $1 billion Chinese deposit is maturing this and the next month.

China has now placed a condition for the renewal of its $2.3 billion loan, which Pakistan returned in March on the hope of getting it back in April but still remains undisbursed.

The sources said China wanted that its loans could not be used for any purpose and should only be treated as part of the reserves because of Pakistan’s weakening financial situation.

The government has requested that the loan money should at least be allowed to use for making payments against Chinese imports. The sources added that the decision was pending.

No dates for Prime Minister Shehbaz’s maiden visit to China have been announced but the possibility of visual contact between the heads of the two governments was being explored, said the sources.

The finance ministry did not officially comment on the matter.

The sources said the prospects for immediate additional cash injection by Saudi Arabia before an IMF deal were not very high. However, it is unlikely that the kingdom would withdraw $3 billion cash facility that had been secured in November last year at an interest rate of 4%.

The chances for receiving more oil on deferred payments over and above the existing limit of $100 million per month were also low, they added

Late last year, the country had secured $1.2 billion annual oil facility ($100 million per month) on deferred payment at an interest rate of 3.8%.

Instead, the sources said, Saudi Arabia has offered to facilitate Pakistan in receiving oil facility from Islamic Development Bank’s commercial arm – International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) or from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development.

But the ITFC and OPEC Fund facilities would be different from what Pakistan was seeking. Pakistan is already availing an ITFC oil facility at 4.5% interest rate.

The government had also requested the Saudi Arabia to reduce interest rates on the existing cash and oil facilities, but this seemed difficult.

Last month, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail requested the IMF to extend the programme duration from September 2022 to June 2023 and also increase the loan size from $6 billion to $8 billion.

The country’s external finances situation remain precarious, as it is left with only $10.5 billion gross official foreign exchange reserves while its monthly import bill was $6.6 billion in April.

The $10.5 billion is inclusive of $4 billion of China, $3 billion of Saudi Arabia, and $2.5 billion of the UAE deposits.

Former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Dr Reza Baqir pumped billions of dollars in the exchange market to defend the weakening rupee but ended up losing the precious reserves, the finance ministry sources said.

The PML-N-led coalition government seems in a fix over its policy choices to steer the country out of the current serious economic crisis. The IMF deal is not possible without first withdrawing the fuel subsidies but there appears to be a deep division within the government.

Some senior party leaders and cabinet ministers have advised the prime minister against increasing petrol and diesel prices, making the job difficult for the finance minister.

Currently, the government is giving Rs29 per litre subsidy on petrol and Rs73 on high speed diesel – which both the finance ministry and the IMF want to reverse.

The previous PTI government had laid landmines as it not only gave these subsidies, but provided wrong estimates of the cost. The former finance minister had initially said the fuel subsidies would cost Rs146 billion for March-June period.

However, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has already approved Rs101 billion subsidies till April 30 and the estimates for May stand at Rs102 billion.

The IMF is also receiving mixed signals, as former finance minister Ishaq Dar has publicly opposed extending the programme to June next year and increasing the fuel prices, arguing that the government should negotiate a fresh deal.

However, the time is running out as the government has made a plan to announce the fiscal year 2022-23 budget on June 10 and before that it needs an agreement with the IMF

Belt and Road initiative is moving strongly

Lets Join CPEC and BRI Projects

Pakistan appoints Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi as new naval chief

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday appointed Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi as Chief of the Naval Staff and promoted him to the rank of Admiral.

Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi will succeed Admiral Zafar Mahmood who will relinquish the command of Pakistan Navy on October 7. His promotion to the rank of Admiral will be effective from the date of assuming command of Pakistan Navy.

The change of command ceremony will be held at PNS ZAFAR, Islamabad.

Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1985 and won the coveted Sword of Honour upon completion of initial training at Pakistan Naval Academy.

The newly appointed naval chief has served on various command and staff appointments.

His command appointments include command of two Type-21 ships PNS BADR and PNS TARIQ, Commander 18th Destroyer Squadron, Commandant PNS BAHADUR, Commandant Pakistan Navy War College, Commander Central Punjab Lahore, Commander Pakistan Fleet and Commander Karachi.

His distinguished staff appointments include Principal Secretary to Chief of the Naval Staff, Head of F-22P Mission China, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Training & Evaluation) and Director General Naval Intelligence.

He is a graduate of Army Command and Staff College Quetta and National Defence University Islamabad. The admiral holds a Master’s Degree in Underwater Acoustics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. 

Presently, he is serving as Chief of Staff (Operations) at Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.

Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi is a recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Sitara-e-Basalat. He has also been conferred upon the French Medal Chevalier (Knight) by the Government of France.

Learning from China

Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS, N.I., H.I., S.I., T.I.

On 10th January 2020, President Xi Jinping addressed thousands of scientists in the great Peoples Hall and honoyred 9 foreign scientists with the highest scientific award of China, “the International Science and Technology Collaboration Award” of China. It was a truly humbling experience to receive the highest honour from President Xi himself in recognition of my services to build strong network of collaborations between China and Pakistan in many key scientific fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Virology, Hybrid Seed Production, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Genomics and many others. In 2014 I had received the Friendship Award from President Xi, and I had been elected as Academician (Foreign Member) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest Academic Honour of China. On 24th of October 2019, a very special function was held at the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine in the city of Changsha, in Hunan province of China when a large 6 storey research institute was named after me on the occasion of a major international conference. I was told that it was the first building to be named after a Muslim scientist in China, It was named as the “Academician Professor Atta-ur-Rahman One Belt and One Road Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Research Center”. The function was attended by our Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Fawad Hussain Choudhary.

In a recent report, published in the world’s leading science journal Nature, it was highlighted that “From 2000 to 2017, R&D spending in the United States grew at an average of 4.3% per year—— But spending in China grew by more than 17% per year during the same period. Several other countries, including Germany and South Korea, also increased their spending at rates that outstripped that of the United States, but they remain solidly behind the two global leaders in terms of total funding. The United States accounted for 25% of the US$2.2 trillion spent on R&D worldwide in 2017, and China made up 23%. Preliminary data from 2019 suggest that China has already surpassed the United States in R&D spending”, Unquote.

My first visit to China was in 1974 when I delivered a lecture at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry. Even then China had begun to acquire leadership positions in some fields. The first synthesis of insulin was accomplished at that institute by Prof. Wang Yu. Massive investments in training of human resources since 1978 has propelled China as among the leading countries in the world in many fields of science, including nanotechnology, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. The amazing developments in the field of science and technology in China during the last 3 decades, has demonstrated that nations like Pakistan must give the highest priority to education, science engineering and to innovation in order to emerge from the shackles of poverty and deprivation.
China focused on Foreign Direct Investment for the joint production and export of high technology products. The stunning average GDP growth rate of 8-11% since became possible through acquiring advanced technologies from abroad and training manpower in top foreign universities to a level that has grown to 600,000 per year. About 500,000 trained students are now returning to China each year. As a result China has become a world leader in many cutting edge technologies and it has set up many highly ranked universities.

A key factor of Chinese success has been the encouragement by the Chinese government to start their own companies. The Torch Program started in 1988, provided massive funds to such enterprises and encouraged scientists working in government institutes to start businesses with government funding. A historic “Decision” taken by the State Council of China in 1999 was to take a number of measures to boost scientific enterprises. These included : (a) tax breaks to private Enterprises investing in R & D, (b) tax exemption for all income derived from the transfer or development of new technologies, (c) a reduced 6% value-added tax rate for software products developed and produced in China (d) complete VAT exemption and subsidised credit for high-tech exports, and (e) the listing of new high-technology companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. Pakistan must do the same.

We must also establish a major national Innovation Fund. The Innovation Funds and Science and Technology Promotion Funds were created in China for the promotion of R&D activities. Starting from 6.3 billion yuan in 1978, the allocation was systematically increased to 124.4 billion yuan in 2004 and to over 200 billion Yuan in 2018.
In the subsequent Five Year Plans, the government has continued to emphasise the improvement of R&D capabilities and the development of its indigenous technology. This has successfully contributed to upgrading its industrial structure. The Chinese government’s R&D policy has nurtured indigenous innovation capability; developed an enterprise-centred technology innovation system and promoted the innovation capabilities of Chinese ?rms. This has contributed to huge development of technology-intensive industries in China , and resulted in increased exports of high-tech products. These include computers and telecommunications products which constitute the major share of the total high-tech exports of Special Economic Zones. In my recent meeting with the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, H.E. Mr. Wang Zhigang, it was agreed that a joint China-Pakistan Committee should be set up for manufacture and export of high technology products involving Chinese and Pakistani industries. This could be a game changer for Pakistan if we can persuade leading Chinese industries to establish manufacturing operations in Pakistan under the CPEC initiative.

Pakistan needs to embark on the same road as that taken by China. We must start a programme to send at least 10,000 students annually to top universities of the world and attract them back through excellent salaries, research funding and infra structure. This will allow us to develop top Centers of Excellence in emerging technologies that are predicted to have an impact of US $ 100 trillion over the next decade. This requires complete commitment from our visionary Prime Minister so that Pakistan can embark on a road to developing a strong knowledge economy, as achieved by China.
The author is the Former Federal Minister of Science & Technology, former Founding Chairman of HEC and Co-Chairman of UN ESCAP Committee on Science Technology & Innovation

Billions of dollars of investments will be made in Gwadar

CEO China Overseas Ports Holding Company and Sec Maritime Affairs will hold a press conference today, 8th October, 2019.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company honorable Mr. Zhang Baozhong said the project of Gwadar Port was first awarded to a Singaporean company that wasted many years without starting the work. He said the incumbent government of Pakistan took immediate steps to resolve our problems. The government proved that it believes on practical work.

Honorable Mr.Zhang Baozhong said people of Gwadar are very hardworking and peace-loving and a bright future awaits them with the development of Gwadar Port and other infrastructure in the city. He assured that billions of dollars of investments will be made in Gwadar that will provide a large number of jobs to the local people. He said Gwadar will become a new economic hub of Pakistan.

The CEO of China Overseas Port Holding company appreciated the Pakistan government a promising, Pakistan Army and other institutions in providing maximum facilitation to Chinese companies working on various projects in Gwadar.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi says work at various projects in Gwadar continues at fast pace to develop the port city to an international standard.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon, he said Pak-China Friendship Hospital will be constructed at a cost of 100 million dollars to provide state of the art medical facilities to people.

The hospital is planned on 68 acres of land and one out of six medical blocks and almost twenty percent of the residential blocks are completed.

The Minister said a 300-megawatt coal-powered plant is also being set up in Gwadar. A plant to treat hard water for human consumption is also being established. It will process five hundred thousand gallons of water.

Ali Haider Zaidi said work on Gwadar airport is underway and it will be an international airport with world-class facilities for passengers and cargo handling.


Shipping firm, two ports removed from privatisation list

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday removed three more state-owned companies from the privatisation list and put the plan of selling a power company on the back burner which it had included in the active privatisation list 10 months ago.

The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) erased Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Port Qasim Authority and Karachi Port Trust from the privatisation programme due to the strategic importance and profitability of these entities, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.

These enterprises were delisted on the request of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, it added. The decision was taken in the wake of federal cabinet’s earlier move to declare shipping as a strategic industry. The maritime affairs ministry was of the view that these profitable enterprises should not be privatised.

However, like any public sector entity, these entities were also not very well managed, said sources in the Ministry of Privatisation. A key reason for their profitability was that they enjoyed preferential treatment compared to the private sector, they added. Their profitability as compared to regional peers was very low, they added.

The CCOP gave directive for excluding the Lakhra coal mines and power plant from the active privatisation list but it kept the company in the sell-off programme.

The CCOP had in October last year approved the privatisation of Lakhra Coal Development Company as part of the active sell-off programme. The company is the sole supplier of coal to the Lakhra power plant. The Privatisation Commission had expressed its inability to go ahead with the Lakhra mines privatisation due to a dispute with the Sindh government over renewal of lease agreement of the mines.

The Sindh government has turned down the request for renewal of the lease which expired in 2015 and the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, as per the Principal Shareholders Agreement executed by and between PMDC, Sindh government and Wapda, in case of exit by any of the parties, the remaining parties have the first right of refusal.

The CCOP also directed the Ministry of Privatisation to expedite the process of privatisation of approved public sector enterprises and advised the ministry to hire financial advisers for at least 10 state-run enterprises before the next CCOP meeting.

The CCOP empowered the Ministry of Privatisation to select any 10 units and start forthwith the process of hiring financial advisers, collectively or separately as per requirement, for the selected units. Different ministries were reluctant to cooperate with the privatisation ministry and were delaying matters. The commerce ministry had sought three months for conducting a study of the insurance sector before handing over two insurance companies for privatisation. Over nine months have passed and the commerce ministry has not yet been able to complete the study. It has sought another six months to do the work that can be done in just weeks.

The CCOP asked the privatisation ministry to take the initiative after the line ministry’s reluctance to cooperate. The government has not been able to finalise privatisation plan for Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). There has so far been lukewarm response to the Expressions of Interest invited for hiring financial advisers for PSM’s revival or privatisation. The deadline is going to end next week.

The privatisation ministry also did not get a good response to the advertisement given for hiring consultants to sell the Jinnah Convention Centre.

CCOP Chairman Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the government was committed to pursuing the privatisation programme, assuring the Ministry of Privatisation full institutional backing and requisite resources to fast-track the process.

The cabinet, in its meeting held on June 3, 2019, had already approved the initiation of process for hiring financial advisers for the selected 32 properties.

The Ministry of Privatisation informed the committee that the privatisation process started in January 1991 and a total of 172 transactions had been completed with total proceeds of Rs649.3 billion for the national exchequer. 

Banks allowed to do foreign currency business with public

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has laid the foundation to eliminate exchange companies from the currency business by allowing banks and their entire branches to buy and sell foreign currencies with public across the country.

The SBP on Saturday issued revised chapters of Foreign Exchange (FE) Manual providing details about the currency business while assigning the role of exchange companies to banks.

Earlier, the banks were not allowed to sell or buy foreign currencies directly from public except for those having their own exchange companies.

The SBP did not say anything regarding the existence or future role of exchange companies but feel threatened with the latest development.

Under the headline of purchase of foreign currency notes from the public, the SBP said that all incoming persons — whether Pakistani or foreign national — can bring with them without any limit foreign currencies and other instruments against the submission of a declaration to the customs authorities on amount exceeding $10,000 or equivalent.

“Such currencies or instruments may be freely purchased by the Authorised Dealers (banks) against payment in PKR. Authorised dealers may also purchase foreign currencies withdrawn by the account holders from their foreign currency accounts and from the walk-in-customers against payment in PKR subject to fulfilment of applicable AML/CFT regulations,” said the SBP.

Banks were also told to ensure availability of foreign currencies to sell it to the public.

It is the responsibility of authorised dealers to ensure adequate foreign currency is available with their authorised branches at all times for meeting the requirements of their customers, read the manual.

Under the headline of ‘Sale of foreign currency notes to the public’, the SBP said the dealers may sell foreign currency notes to persons proceeding abroad within the amount of foreign exchange allowed through special permission by the SBP or under the authority delegated to them.

Currency dealers said allowing banks to conduct day-to-day currency business with the general public means there is no need for exchange companies.

“I personally know that some high officials in the government are willing to close down the exchange companies as they hold them responsible for financial indiscipline,” said Secretary General Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan Zafar Paracha.

He said that amendments in the manual are clear indications that exchange companies are not required in this country.

“But I must say that general public will suffer since they easily buy foreign currencies from exchange companies and sell them without hurdles. Banks are unable to take care of millions of people for buying and selling of foreign currencies,” Paracha said, adding that banks will charge higher margins as they do currently.

He said banks are paid Rs12-14 per remittance from abroad while exchange companies provide this service without this cost.

“We annually provide $10 to $11 billion to the country which includes import of dollars against other foreign currencies,” he said.

“If exchange companies are closed about 25,000 direct employees lose their jobs and up to 60 thousand indirectly attached with this business would lose jobs.”

Currency declaration at airports made mandatory for infants also

KARACHI: The customs department has established currency declaration counters at all airports where passengers travelling on international routes are bound to declare volume of foreign currencies at both arrivals and departures.

“Adult passengers traveling on international routes are allowed to carry a maximum of $10,000 on each visit. The limit for children aged less than 18 years is $5,000 and it is $500 for infants,” a Customs official told .

Foreign currencies other than the US dollar should be equivalent to or less than the allowed limits. “Money for local airport expenses should not be mixed with the foreign currencies,” he said.

Besides, the passengers are also bound to declare volume of gold and precious and semi-precious stones at the airports, according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) notification that announced proposed amendments in the Baggage Rules 2006 on June 22.

The passengers would also be bound to declare satellite phones, if they carry, in a prescribed declaration form. The amendments are aimed at combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Failure to achieve the set objectives may lead to blacklisting of Pakistan in October 2019 by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it was learnt.

The introduced amendments also bind passengers to declare the purpose of their international visit whether its nature is personal, official, business and tourism, according to the FBR notification.

The travellers would also be bound to declare, whether they are carrying, prohibited and restricted goods such are narcotics, psychotropic substances, firearms, weapons, etc.

The FBR has also proposed through the amendments to withdraw the facility allowing citizens to bring one duty-free mobile phone once in a year at the return to the country from abroad. Sources said the FBR has decided to end the facility after the phones smugglers started to misuse it.

The FBR and Customs had received complaints that smugglers have been misusing passengers’ travel documents to take benefit of tax exemption on bringing one duty-free mobile phone each year.

The end of the facility would not only check the smugglers but would also generate revenue for the cash-strapped government. The government has set an ambitious tax revenue collection target of Rs5.55 trillion for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2019 that is almost 40% higher than the tax amount to be collected in the outgoing fiscal year 2018-19.

The government has set the ambitious tax revenue collection target to narrow down the widening fiscal deficit under the commitments made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under its bailout package worth $6 billion scheduled to be approved on Wednesday (July 3).

Besides fulfilling the FAFT obligations, the declaration of foreign currencies, gold, precious and semi-precious stones would also help arrest capital flight due to which the government has continuously been facing depletion in foreign currency reserves for the last two years.

Earlier, currency dealers had suggested the government to cut limit of $10,000 for adult international passengers to $3,000-5,000 in a bid to prevent capital flight. Besides, they had also asked the government to check to smuggle of foreign currencies in Pakistani areas bordering with Afghanistan and Iran.

Prime Minister Imran Khan Review CPEC Projects ahead of second visit to China

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government is not only giving top priority to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project but wants to further expand its scope so that other countries could also become part of the gigantic project and a new era of progress and prosperity starts in the region.

The prime minister stated this on Thursday while chairing a high-level meeting on his forthcoming visit to China to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The meeting reviewed the preparations regarding promoting cooperation between the two countries in various fields during the forthcoming visit of the prime minister to China.

The prime minister said the CPEC project consisted of just few power plants and three corridors, while the present government got included agriculture, education, health, water projects, vocational education and skill development, transport, up-gradation of railways Main Line-1 and other important projects in the second phase of CPEC. He said the government will replicate the successful experiment of Chinese government of poverty alleviation where millions of people were lifted out of poverty. He said the government wants to learn from China’s skill in agriculture, industry and other fields.

The prime minister said keeping in view the commendable progress of China in science and technology, cooperation between the two countries in this field will be the main focus of the visit. He said efforts are going on to accelerate the process of getting scholarships for at least 20,000 Pakistani students so that they can study advanced subjects in China.

The prime minister said special attention is being given to cooperation between Pakistan and China in eight big sectors, including mining, high-speed railways, manufacturing and agriculture.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government accords top priority to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as it will not only help in translating all-weather Pak-China relations into mutually beneficial economic equation but also open new vistas of opportunities for the entire region.

The prime minister met with representatives of 15 leading Chinese companies working on various CPEC and other projects in Pakistan. The Chinese delegation included representatives from Power China, Three Gorges Corporation, CMEC Neelum Jhelum Power Plant Project, Cr-Norinco Orange Line Project, Huawei, Zong, Port Qasim Power Plant, China Gezhouba Corporation, China State Construction, China Harbour, Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line Project, Haier and other companies. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing accompanied the delegation.

Talking to the Chinese delegation, the prime minister said the government will provide all possible facilitation to the Chinese companies in undertaking profitable business ventures and taking advantage of business friendly policies of the present government.

The Chinese ambassador, while conveying greetings from Chinese president and premier, said that Chinese leadership is looking forward to the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China. He thanked the prime minister on behalf of Chinese leadership and business community for his personal interest in facilitating Chinese businessmen and addressing their issues. He assured the prime minister that Chinese companies will continue to partner with the government in socio-economic development of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, during a briefing on Thursday, was informed that 11 integrated tourism zones will be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and replicating the model, eight zones will also be set up in Punjab.