In China visit, Imran seeks to woo investors

PM to outline his ‘Naya Pakistan’ agenda during three-day visit from November 2

Islamabad: After receiving support guarantees worth US$6 billion (Dh22 billion) from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to visit China for three days from November 2.

According to a government spokesperson and senior officials, Pakistan is going to give a guarantee to Beijing that the ongoing infrastructure and energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would continue, and Islamabad would ensure its smooth and timely completion.

In return the government would expect a support package from the Chinese side similar to that extended by Saudi Arabia.

A senior Pakistani official, speaking to Gulf News on condition of anonymity, said although it would be premature to say what would be the outcome of Imran’s visit, the Chinese government had assured Pakistan of all possible assistance.

Not only is the relief expected in the shape of easy loans, but also a number of agreements worth billions of dollars in energy, infrastructure, real estate, industry and other sectors will be announced during the Pakistan premier’s visit, he said.

Since 2015 when the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was unveiled together with the Nawaz Sharif government, China continues to be the number 1 investor in Pakistan and its companies are working on a number of projects in highways, power plants, flyovers and IT sector, he said.

The highlight of Imran’s China visit is going to be his keynote address at the Shanghai International Expo on November 5.

The Chinese government has devoted to Pakistan a session titled “Emerging Pakistan.”

The session will be attended by top Chinese companies and investors and Khan will convince them to take advantage of the business and investment-friendly environment opportunities in Pakistan and invest their capital there for a “win win” outcome.

Meanwhile China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, while briefing mediapersons a day earlier on Friday on Imran’s visit, also indicated a feeling of enthusiasm and keenness on the part of the Chinese leadership and the people to listen to Imran Khan during his China visit and learn about his reforms package.

“The recent reforms in various socio-economic sectors of Naya Pakistan or New Pakistan and the positive changes in administrative and governance matters are something we want to hear from Prime Minister Imran Khan,” said Ambassador Yao Jing.

China, he said valued relations with Pakistan and invested billions of dollars in the country at a time when no other country was ready to do so. This demonstrated our immense faith in Pakistan as strategic partner and close ally of China, he said.

CPEC is a huge economic opportunity, a game changer for Pakistan and under its projects, so far 80,000 jobs have been generated and by the end of 2030, some 700,000 more jobs will be created.

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