BEIJING: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was accorded a warm welcome when he arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit to China.

Besides holding talks with Chinese President Xi Jingping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, he will represent Pakistan at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting being held here.

Know more: Sharif heading for China to compensate for cancelled trip

In a statement before leaving for the visit, the prime minister said he was going to China to save the people from extra loadshedding in summers.

“Despite the damage done in the past two months due to political turmoil we will make up for the loss, come what may,” he said.

He said the Pakistan-China ‘economic corridor’ would have far reaching consequences for the country’s economy.

Agreements worth $45bn likely to be signed during visit

“These projects will be source of employment for over a million youths of Pakistan,” he said.

He said the cooperation between the two countries would also create business opportunities for local and international investors.

The visit would help usher in a new era of development, prosperity and generating employment opportunities in the country, he said.

AGREEMENTS: Talking to the media in the Chinese capital, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan and China would sign $45 billion agreements during the visit.

He said $34bn would be spent on energy projects and $11bn on infrastructure development.

The minister said the Chinese president was to visit Pakistan in September to sign the agreements but it was postponed because of the sit-ins by certain political parties.

He said had the agreements for the projects been signed in Pakistan it could have also encouraged other countries to invest in Pakistan.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said coal-based, solar wind power and other electricity projects were among those planned under the agreements.

He said the countries would also sign a number of road and railway projects.

According to a press release issued in Islamabad, the prime minister will attend a dialogue on ‘Strengthening connectivity partnership’ to be held ahead of the Apec Economic Leaders’ Summit in which leaders of Myanmar, Laos, Mongolia, Cambodia, Tajikistan and Bangladesh are also participating.

Of the 21 projects for generating 16,520MW with Chinese help, the important ones include a 1,320MW Sino Hydro Resource Project, two 660MW Sahiwal Coal-Fired Projects, a 2,330MW Engro Thar Coal-Fired Project, Muzaffargarh Coal Power, Rahimyar Khan, SSRL Thar Coal and Thar Mine Mouth Oracle Projects of 1,320MW each, 1,000MW SSRL Thar Coal Block 6, 2,640MW Gaddani Power Park Project, 300MW Gwadar Coal, 100MW Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park, 50MW Dawood Wind Farm, 100MW UEP Wind Farm, 50MW Sachal Wind Farm, 50MW Sunnec Wind Farm, 870MW SukiKinari Hydro­power Station and 720MW Karot Hydropower Station.

The prime minister will also sign agreements for the 440km Karakoram Highway-II Raikot-Islamabad section, Karachi-Lahore Motorway, Havelian Dry Port, Orangeline Project of Lahore, Cross-Border Optical Fibre Cable and Hari-Ruba Economic Zone.

His entourage includes Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi.

Published in Dawn, November 8th , 2014


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