Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday signed agreements with Chinese investment companies for development schemes worth $20 billion.

"Today we started a new era of progress and prosperity in the province," said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak while speaking at the signing ceremony.

The chief minister added that apart from Chinese companies, other countries are being invited to invest in the province.

"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and it will usher in a new era of prosperity," added Khattak.

Khattak also said the work on the projects will be started soon and provincial institutions have been instructed in this regard.

The signing ceremony included the higher management of Heritage Resource International, China Railway Corporation and other Chinese companies.

The agreements signed today include a $1.5bn oil refinery, uplift and irrigation schemes worth $2bn and $7bn worth of hydro-electric schemes which will start production of electricity by 2020.

Construction of international airports in Swabi and Dera Ismail Khan, in accordance with Civil Aviation directives, are also included in the agreements signed today. A motorway from Chitral to Dera Ismail Khan will also be built at a cost of $2bn.

Smart and safe city projects worth $2bn are also included in the agreements signed by the provincial government.