Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pakistan assured of $13 billion support from China and Saudi Arabia

China and Saudi Arabia have assured of $13 billion in financial support to Pakistan, in addition to around $20 billion investment, Pakistan’s finance minister said on Friday.

This includes about $8.7 billion from China and over $4.2 billion from Saudi Arabia.

Ishaq Dar, who recently accompanied Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on a visit to China told reporters in Islamabad the incoming financial assistance included the rollover of sovereign loan deposits, commercial loans and currency swaps from China as well as an increase in financing and deferred payment facility on oil imports from Saudi Arabia. 

“They promised the security of financial support,” Dar said and quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as telling PM Sharif to “don’t worry, we will not let you down”.

The financial assistance from China includes the rollover of $4 billion in sovereign loans, refinancing of $3.3 billion in commercial loans and an increase in currency swap by around $1.45 billion. 

The finance minister said the Chinese side had also agreed to fast-track the processing for a $9.8 billion high-speed rail project (Main Line-1) from Karachi to Peshawar. Both sides would immediately begin work on their sides.

Pakistan and Chinna would also resume Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and Hyderabad-Karachi motorway projects.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia had “given a positive response” to Pakistan’s request for increasing its financing by another $3bn to $6bn and doubling its deferred oil facility of $1.2 billion.

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