China-led projects worth $35b to be implemented in Pakistan
More than three quarters of $46 billion in planned Chinese-led investments in Pakistan will be implemented by next year as part of the world’s second-largest economy’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
“Out of this $46 billion, we have been so far able to energize about $35 billion,” Pakistan’s Planning, Development and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview in London.
“By energizing, I mean these are projects either in advanced implementation or in a stage of financially closing.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is seeking to boost infrastructure growth levels to their highest levels in about a decade, after China announced its investment plans in the nation of about 190 million people last year. It’s part of an initiative the Chinese government calls Belt and Road Initiative that aims to revive trade across Central Asia and into Europe via a network of railways, ports and highways.
About $11 billion has been allocated to infrastructure projects including roads, with concessional loans provided at about 2 percent with payback in 20 years, along with a fiveyear grace period, said Iqbal, who is heading the investment plans in Pakistan. The rest has been earmarked for generating electricity, with about 11,000 megawatts expected to be added by 2018 to end the nation’s chronic power outages.
In September, Iqbal said a further $8 billion would be provided by China and the Asian Development Bank to update Pakistan’s dilapidated railway network.
Employees work at a refrigerator production plant of Haier Group in Lahore, Pakistan.