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  • Jun 30th, 2018
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Chinese Deputy Head of Mission Lijian Zhao Friday said that more than 70,000 Pakistanis are working on various development projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while China has deposited $1 billion with the State Bank of Pakistan.

"China has given a soft loan to Pakistan at around 2 percent interest rate for major infrastructure projects of $6 billion under the CPEC," he added. He said major transport projects included M-5 Motorway project (Multan-Sukkur), Orange Line Metro Train and KKH Phase II (Thakot-Havelian Section)."

About energy projects, he said that China is helping Pakistan overcome energy crisis. He said that as many as six power plants including 2×660MW coal-fired power plants at Port Qasim Karachi, three wind power projects in Sindh, solar power project and Sahiwal coal-based power plants have been completed. He said that 10 power plants including coal and hydropower projects are under construction. He said that these power plants have a total generation capacity of 11,000MW of electricity.

He said that five years earlier, there was seven to eight hours electricity load-shedding daily in Islamabad. But now there is zero load-shedding in Islamabad. He said that sometimes load-shedding in the federal capital occurs due to technical reasons and old transmission lines.

He said that 14 projects are under construction, eight have been completed and 21 projects are in pipeline while their groundbreaking has been taken place. He said that there are 43 early harvest projects under the CPEC and most of them would be completed in 2019. He said that a few hydropower projects are long-term which would be completed in 2023.

About Gwadar free zone, he said that more than 30 Pakistani companies have been registered for Gwadar Free Industrial Zone and more companies are in pipeline. He said that China has constructed 'Business Centre' within a record time of five-and-a-half-month in Gwadar. He said that China Overseas Port Holding Company has also installed desalination plants at Gwadar for supplying drinking water to the people in the port city.

Answering a question, he said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government had handed over Gwadar to Chinese companies. He said that Gwadar Port is very significant for China, Pakistan and rest of the world. He said that China is also responsible for developing Gwadar free port. He said Part-I of free port was appearing on the ground.

He said that as many as nine industrial parks would be established in Pakistan. He said that facilities of electricity, gas, internet and road, etc, would be provided to the industrial zones.

The Chinese envoy said that Gwadar international airport would be built soon and its groundbreaking ceremony would be held after October 2018.

The Chinese deputy head of mission said a hospital is also operating in Gwadar. He said that fisheries would be a great industry in Gwadar. He said 500 students are studying in a Gwadar school built by the Chinese companies.

Answering a question about western route, he said that propaganda is done in this regard. He said that the western route is also in the interests of China and it would be completed.

Furthermore, he said that China has made tremendous economic growth. He said that now China is working to enhance its gross domestic product (GDP) growth, adding in the next 10 years, GDP of China would be doubled.

Zhao also said that China wants good relationship with every country, including the United States.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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