ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) signed a contract on Wednesday for the development and launch of Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and CGWIC President Yin Limping signed the agreement.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that signing of this historic agreement took the all-weather and time-tested friendship between China and Pakistan from higher than Himalayas to higher than the stars. He hoped that cooperation between the two countries in space sciences would not only open up new avenues of socio-economic and scientific cooperation, but would also give a boost to the cordial relations in other fields.

He said that space technology was an important component of socio-economic development.

He expressed the optimism that by virtue of the contract, Pakistan would be able to carry out the planning and execution of development projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a more scientific way.

“The agreement would also transfer space technology to Pakistan,” Ahsan said, adding, “Under the agreement, satellite will be launched in June 2018.”

The minister termed PRSS-1 another flagship project between China-Pakistan after the CPEC, and hoped it would go a long way towards redefining the bilateral relations. Listing another benefit of the agreement, he said that it would also help Pakistan in national security arena by strengthening the border security and surveillance apparatus.

He also proposed sending a Pakistani astronaut to space in the Chinese space ship in 2017, as a mark of strong relations between the two countries.

He said that PRSS-1 was the first remote sensing satellite, having multiple applications Ahsan observed said that PRSS-1 had assumed greater significance in the backdrop of ongoing gigantic CPEC projects.