Web Desk (24 News) — Pakistan signed new deals with China on Saturday worth nearly $500 million ahead of Beijing’s international forum on its “Silk Road” trade and infrastructure initiative for Asia, Africa and Europe, the Pakistani government said.
According to a report, the memorandums of understanding add to $57 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure that is part of the wider Chinese project also known as the Belt and Road initiative, or One Belt, One Road.
— Reuters Pakistan (@ReutersPakistan) May 13, 2017
The deals came as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Beijing summit expected to be attended by leaders from at least 29 countries to promote Xi’s vision of expanding trade links.
Delegates in Beijing will hold a series of sessions on Sunday to discuss the plan in more detail, including trade and finance.
Proposed in 2013 by Xi, the project is broad on ambition but still short on specifics.
Pakistan has been a flagship country and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the One Belt-One Road initiative, in part because many projects are for power plants to alleviate the country’s decade-long energy-shortage crisis that sees frequent blackouts.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a core component of your visionary initiative of the ‘One Belt-One Road’,” Sharif told Xi when they met at the Great Hall of China on Saturday, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.