It has been few a weeks since the establishment-backed government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was installed in the country through the controversial general elections.
After Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit this week to Saudi Arabia, his government announced on Thursday that the Gulf state had been invited to be the third investor in a key segment of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry made the announcement but did not detail whether Saudi Arabia had agreed to lend money to the Pakistani government.
Chinese investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have come under fire recently, as Pakistan copes with an economic crisis that has seen its foreign-exchange reserves fall to near-record lows.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that securing the kingdom is the same as protecting Pakistan. Fawad said that the pacts with Saudi Arabia will be transparent and clear, and huge investment will be done from the other side.
China’s investment of more than $50 billion initiated CPEC projects across the country. The projects aim to improve connectivity between Pakistan and China, starting with the port of Gwadar. Power, infrastructure and other projects are part of CPEC.
Earlier this month, during a visit to Pakistan by China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, the two countries reaffirmed their cooperation and also proposed inviting a third-party investor to assuage concerns about Beijing burdening Islamabad with debt.
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