ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng is set to arrive in Pakistan today for a three-day visit to commemorate the decade of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Invited by the federal government, he will be the chief guest at the ceremony celebrating ten years of CPEC.

During his visit from July 30 to August 1, Vice Premier He Lifeng will meet with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Dr. Arif Alvi. The Foreign Office acknowledged his significant role in China’s international economic relations and implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, with CPEC being a flagship project.

Having served as the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission from 2017 to 2023, Lifeng played a crucial role in planning and executing multiple CPEC projects in Pakistan.

This visit reflects the regular high-level exchanges and dialogue between Pakistan and China, emphasizing both countries’ importance in deepening their strategic cooperative partnership. They aim to enhance economic and financial cooperation, promote the high-quality development of CPEC, and explore new opportunities to strengthen trade and investment ties.

In light of the occasion, the district magistrate of Islamabad issued a notification stating that various public and private institutions, including schools, universities, colleges, companies, markets, shops, and commercial banks, will remain closed on July 31 and August 1.

As a brief overview, CPEC is a comprehensive initiative comprising infrastructure and other projects initiated in Pakistan since 2013. It aims to upgrade the country’s infrastructure and boost its economy by developing modern transportation networks, energy projects, and special economic zones. The project’s key agreement was signed in 2013, and it saw partial operationalization in 2016 when Chinese cargo was transported to Gwadar port for further maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia. So far, Pakistan has received $25.4 billion in direct Chinese investment for various transport, energy, and infrastructure schemes under the Belt and Road Initiative’s flagship connectivity and investment corridor project.

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