China has launched a major economic package for Pakistan including agreements and memorandums of understanding worth US$46 billion, which are expected to invigorate Pakistan’s economy.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan in a statement said that 28 billion dollars’ projects of the package will be completed on fast track. All technical and preliminary work has been completed on these projects which could be initiated immediately, the statement said.
The package announced on the first day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan.
The two countries have signed 51 agreements and memorandums of understanding, in two groups, including multibillion-dollar concessional loans provided by China, and focusing on areas including the southwestern Pakistani port of Gwadar, energy, transportation infrastructure and industry.
More than 30 agreements are designed to boost the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project connecting Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang-Uyghur autonomous region to Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
The 25 projects are scheduled to be completed in the next three to five years, sources said.
Strategically important Gwadar Port is about 400 km from the Strait of Hormuz, the main artery of the oil transportation to the world. The port will be upgraded and a 14 km expressway and an airport will be built in the area.
Under the 21 agreements on energy, the two countries will co-operate on gas, coal and solar energy projects to provide 16,400 megawatts of electricity- roughly equivalent to Pakistan’s current capacity.