ISLAMABAD - Ahsan Iqbal has directed that proposals for collaboration with the Chinese side for water desalination and water treatment technology may also be included in the CPEC framework.

In this regard, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal has issued directive in a progress review meeting of the CPEC projects. The meeting also discussed preparation for the next Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting. The meeting was attended by the Secretary Planning Commission, Secretary Communication, Executive Director CPEC and representatives from various ministries. During the meeting, it was informed that seven meetings of Joint Working Groups (JWGs) of CPEC have been held which includes the JWG on Socio-Economic Development, Industrial Cooperation, Science & Technology, Transport Infrastructure and International Cooperation. The latest meeting on JWG on Information Technology was held on July, 28, 2022. The Secretary Information Technology & Telecommunication gave a detailed briefing on the JWG meeting and stated that two sides have agreed on 10 specific areas of cooperation in the information technology sector. The meeting was further informed that JWG on agriculture will be held in the third week of September, 2022 for which proposals have been finalized by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research.

Similarly, the Power Division informed that the agenda for JWG on energy has been finalized and the meeting will be held in September 2022 and the agenda was discussed in detail. The minister directed that energy policy for Gilgit Baltistan (GB) be approved at the earliest so that already agreed projects for GB could be pushed forward. He further directed that the Development and Production Facility of Solar Panels for domestic use as well as export may be considered for inclusion in the agenda of the meeting.