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Saudi Arabia to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as third strategic partner



Saudi Arabia to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 'CPEC' as 3rd strategic partner: Details, Highlights

Pakistan has invited Saudi Arabia to join $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the third strategic partner.

A formal request in this regard was made after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia during his first foreign trip after getting elected.

Saudi Arabia is the first country that Pakistan has invited to become a partner in CPEC. Pakistan’s main interest in inviting Saudi Arabia in CPEC is to ensure huge investment from cash-rich gulf country. This invitation comes after Pakistan concern over rising debt levels have especially due to unsustainable loans from China for CPEC projects, compromising cash-strapped Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of financially bailing out Pakistan during the economic crisis. Saudi Arabia had loaned Pakistan $1.5 billion in 2014 to strengthen its rupee currency, six months after Pakistan obtained its last IMF bailout.

About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

CPEC is a flagship project as part of China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at enhancing China’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.

CPEC aims to construct and upgrade transportation network, energy projects, a deep-water port at Gwadar and special economic zones (SEZs) to eventually support Pakistan’s industrial development as manufacturing hub by 2030.

CPEC will be linking Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways. The proposed project is financed by heavily-subsidized Chinese loans, disbursed to Pakistan Government by Chinese banking giants such as China Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.



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