Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Islamabad Monday on a historic visit to unveil a $46 billion investment plan that Pakistan hopes will end a chronic energy crisis and transform it into a regional economic hub.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements for cooperation in various fields worth billions of rupees.
The projects and agreements are related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, research and technology, education and other fields.
Both the dignitaries also inaugurated 8 projects including Gwadar Expressway.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan is fully resolved to deepen its relations further with China. He said China is our trusted and best friend.
The PM said people of Pakistan were anxiously waiting for the visit of the Chinese President.
He said we warmly welcome a great leader from our great friend.
The Chinese President said promotion of Pak-China relations is our joint heritage and our bright future. He said strengthening of cooperation with Pakistan is part of the economic agenda of China.
He expressed the confidence that implementation of the Economic Corridor project would open a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries.
The Chinese President said he chose Pakistan as the first country for visit abroad during current year. He thanked Pakistan for providing assistance in evacuation of stranded Chinese nationals in Yemen.
Xi Jinping was given a lavish welcome as he arrived on Monday morning at Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi, next to Islamabad, where he was greeted by President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
After talks in the afternoon, Xi and Sharif symbolically broke ground on five projects around the country via video link, before inking a series of agreements.
The two allies have enjoyed close diplomatic and military relations for decades, though economic ties have only grown more recently. Bilateral trade crossed $12 billion last year compared to only $2 billion a decade earlier.
The projected investments, $28 billion of which are ready to be signed during Xi’s visit, dwarf a US assistance package to Pakistan of $5 billion that was begun in 2010 but has made less impact than hoped.