More than three quarters of $46 billion of planned Chinese-led investment in Pakistan will be implemented by next year as part of the world’s second-largest economy’s flagship Silk Road plan.
“Out of this $46 billion, we have been so far able to energize about $35 billion,” Pakistan’s Planning, Development and Reforms Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview in London. “By energizing I mean these are projects either in advanced implementation or in a stage of financially closing.”
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is seeking to boost growth to the highest in about a decade after China announced its investment plans in the nation of about 190 million people last year. It’s part of an initiative the Chinese government calls “One Belt, One Road” that aims to revive trade across Central Asia and into Europe via a network of railways, ports and highways.
About $11 billion has been allocated to infrastructure projects including roads, with concessional loans provided at about 2 percent with payback in 20 years, along with a five-year grace period, said Iqbal, who is heading the investment plans in Pakistan. The rest has been earmarked for generating electricity, with about 11,000 megawatts expected to be added by 2018 to end the nation’s chronic power outages.