Pakistan and China have signed new deals worth about half a billion dollars on Saturday, ahead of Beijing’s international forum on its “Silk Road” initiative.
The recent understanding will add to the $57 billion China already committed for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, or One Belt, One Road.
The $492.95 million worth of memorandums of understanding signed by both countries will cover an airport in the southwestern town of Gwada, which has a deep-water port that could provide an outlet to the Arabian Sea from the far western region of Xinjiang; development of the Havelian Dry Port in Pakistan; and economic and technical cooperation for the East Bay Expressway that will connect Gwadar to Pakistan’s existing highway system.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is one of the strong supporters of China’s One Belt One Road initiative, particularly because many of the projects include power plants that will help Islamabad’s decade-long energy shortage crisis.
The Beijing summit, which aims to promote Beijing’s ambition to expand trade links, will be attended by at least 29 leaders from different countries.