ISLAMABAD: An investment worth $19 billion has been made in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, said Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing.
Addressing a seminar on 'CPEC 2015-2019: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward', he said that the past four years had been vital for the mega project, which progressed at a fast pace. Acknowledging that the project encountered many challenges, he said that Pakistan and China need to face them together.
"A lot of criticism was levelled at CPEC, which also became a victim of conspiracies," said Yao, adding that the project was moving forward with success and both countries have close cooperation.
He said that China was providing every possible resource to Pakistan for economic progress and noted that in this regard there were six working groups between the two countries. The ambassador added that the Pakistan-China economic framework was based on an extremely organised footing.
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The Chinese ambassador pointed out that the foundation of cooperation and mutual progress was laid between the two countries while there were short-term and long-term projects in CPEC.
"Both the countries have entered a new stage of traditional friendship while Pakistan is an inevitable part of the Chinese foreign policy."
A total of $13 billion were lent by Chinese commercial banks, while Chinese energy companies had invested $6 billion by taking loans from banks, he added. He maintained that the Chinese energy companies will return the loan from the sale of produced electricity. The envoy added that the Chinese government gave Pakistan a loan of $6 billion and its return payment will start in 2024.
The Chinese ambassador also added that there were 21 projects in CPEC; including ML-1 railway line and Gwadar airport.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2019.
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